The Lwandle Community Policing Forum (CPF) brought the youth of Lwandle, especially young girls, together through soccer matches on Women’s Day (Thursday 9 August).
The games, hosted at the Lwandle Sports Ground, saw young girls competing against one another, while other stakeholders shared important messages on the day.
The CPF leadership told City Vision that they decided to bring youth together through soccer, as the sport is loved by many in the community.
Nokuthula Ntlazana, a CPF member, said such days were also important to remember and celebrate the fallen heroines of the struggle.
“The youth still needs to know about strong women such as mama Winnie Madikizela Mandela and mama Albertina Sisulu,” she said. “This is a good platform where you tell them their stories, while they do what they enjoy most.”
Edward Phibantu, deputy chairperson of CPF, told City Vision it was important to hold a women-only event if only to show that women are no less capable than their male counterparts.
“Given the opportunity, women can also show what they are capable of,” he said. “We know there are already many leagues where men are involved, so to have this on such an important day means a lot.”
Phibantu said adults always have programmes on such days, but leave their children behind, making them vulnerable.
He believes the day’s event gave them an opportunity to “exhaust” the young ones and create a platform for future professional players, referees and women coaches. Phibantu also encouraged parents, schools and churches to form part of such programmes, as it will benefit the community in the long run.
Sergeant Mthokozisi Gama of Lwandle police said the initiative was very important as it also assisted in fighting crime.
“The games keep young ones occupied, and lure them away from being involved in criminal activities,” he said. “But most importantly, sexual violence victims are often females, and this gives us an opportunity to tell them about such abuse and the importance of reporting crime.”
Gama urged the youths to always come forward and report any abuse to the police.