Kaizer Chiefs recently joined forces with the horse racing industry in the form of the 4Racing Grooms Soccer Tournament at the Turffontein Racecourse in Johannesburg.
The tournament was held in recognition of the role played by grooms in horse racing.
Chiefs supported the event by sponsoring playing kits for the four participating teams, as well as providing merchandise as prizes.
A stake for teams was a prize pool of R20 000.
Chiefs’ delegation was led by the club’s marketing director, Jessica Motaung, who is an avid horse racing enthusiast and racehorse owner, while Amakhosi legends Shane MacGregor, William Shongwe and Derrick Spencer were also present to support the teams on the day.
In the first semifinal ‘derby’, Turffontein beat a 4Racing staff team 4-1, with Randjiesfontein too strong for the Vaal grooms in the second semifinal, winning 5-2.
In a pulsating finale, Randjiesfontein came from a 2-0 down against Turffontein to equalise with two late goals and then won the penalty shoot-out 3-1 to claim the R10 000 winners’ prize and a floating trophy.
Turffontein’s grooms won R5 000 for their runners-up spot, with the losing semifinalists splitting the remaining R5 000 prize pot.
“It was a cracker of a day. We’ve always said the lifeblood of our horse racing industry is the grooms and it was important for us to celebrate them. We are truly grateful to have partnered with Kaizer Chiefs on what was a truly memorable event,” said 4Racing chief executive officer Fundi Sithebe.
For Motaung, it was a chance to celebrate the club’s supporters in a different light and to support the unsung heroes of the horse racing industry.
“I understand the importance of grooms, their love for horses and the work they do behind the scenes. It was important as a brand to honour them, to give them the Chiefs kit and equipment and to give them the opportunity to live out their passion and dreams. This groom’s tournament is wonderful for us. These are our supporters, people who are passionate about the game. This is a way of allowing them to showcase their love for the game and the club, and it’s wonderful to see the work that they are doing,” said Motaung.
“Chiefs is an institution loved by so many families in all parts of the country. Tapping into different avenues, like the club has done in supporting the groom’s tournament, is very important. For the grooms, getting the opportunity to play in the football kit of Kaizer Chiefs - and being treated like stars - is a beautiful moment they will never forget,” added former Chiefs’ goalkeeping legend Shongwe.