Forces join hands to showcase local talent

Xola Gigaba of Lentegeur High Sschool drives the ball through a host of defenders of Beacon Hill High School during a MRP foundation high schools league game played at Rocklands sport complex during their fixture on Saturday 7 September. PHOTO: Rashied Isaacs
Xola Gigaba of Lentegeur High Sschool drives the ball through a host of defenders of Beacon Hill High School during a MRP foundation high schools league game played at Rocklands sport complex during their fixture on Saturday 7 September. PHOTO: Rashied Isaacs

Two local youth football fraternities joined forces to showcase local talent in Mitchell’s Plain during the Golden United Tournament.

The tournament was held in collaboration with the MRP Foundation High Schools Soccer League, which is largely considered to be the flagship of schools football in South Africa, in Rocklands on 7 September.

Golden United chairperson, Sowyba Jones felt that soccer has been monopolised for far too long with public facilities being the bargaining chip to keep clubs and school sports such as the MRP Foundation apart. She felt that all junior sports and senior sports should and must be cohesive for the development of soccer in Mitchell’s Plain.

MRP Foundation High Schools Soccer League chair, Shamiel Kolbee echoed these sentiments stating football was the overall winner of the day and applauded Golden United’s executive for having displayed vision and that the tournament is an example of what is possible if all work together. He also hopes that this is an eye-opener for club soccer and school soccer to join hands. It showed that the league is very much part of Mitchell’s Plain and not an entity intent on only playing for themselves, as was perpetuated by the custodians of soccer in Mitchell’s Plain.

MRP Foundation’s High Schools Soccer League secretary, Li-Anne Mervyn says: “In communities such as Mitchell’s Plain where our youth remains trapped in a poverty cycle of crime, drugs, gangsterism and unacceptably high level of school drop-outs, it is important that we offer them something to aspire to, to keep our youth motivated, focused and on track at a time when the general morale of our communities is at an all-time low.”

She adds it is important that they demonstrate leadership and create unity through action to help bring meaningful change, which is the aim of the tournament going forward.

It was the first time in Mitchell’s Plain that the 16 participating high schools, in what is commonly referred to as the “Mr Price League”, played their matches as a curtain-raiser to the Golden United Tournament. “This demonstrates that clubs and schools can collectively work together to promote the beautiful game and coach a flourishing relationship that has been conspicuously lacking in football in Mitchell’s Plain for many years,” adds Mervyn.

Mervyn was excited and amazed at the very same time at the number of parents, spectators, players that came out in their droves to support sport.

“It only proved that the love of the game still exists within Mitchell’s Plain. The so-called leaders of soccer within Mitchell’s Plain has been instrumental in denying our youth of interacting with each other, by perpetuating false truths about the league to the clubs within Mitchell’s Plain. By playing side-by-side at the tournament, Golden United and MRP Foundation Schools League has shown the soccer fraternity that they have seen through the lies and will help build a better and stronger soccer fraternity of unity for our boys. We all need to save the futures of our children!”

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