“AN EDUCATED nation is a liberated nation”, thus evoked the University of Johannesburg’s Director of Sport, Nomsa Mahlangu pending the launch of the inaugural African Bank U-18 Football Challenge - at the institution’s Soweto campus.
Thanking financial institution African Bank for partnering with hers, Mahlangu emphasized the appreciation of educating children through sport.
Of a tournament touted as aiming to purge the stereotype of football’s contact nature as a sport which might physically harm females, the sponsoring bank’s regional manager, Kalebe Marumo urged the young girls and boys penciled in to partake in the 3-day event, to seize the opportunity, as it has the potential to change lives.
With the 1stto 3rd September affair to be contested by 16 girls’ and 16 boys’ teams which qualified to partake into four groups of four per segment being graced by the attendance of chosen ambassadors, fellow footballers, Amanda Dlamini and Bidvest Wits’ Phumlani Ntshangase, SAFA Gauteng’s chairman, Anthony Reeves, whose organization is one of the partners – gave the initiative a thumbs up as falling within his association’s Vision 2020.
It was further pointed out to attendees to the draw – of the benefit to be hewn for the girl child.
Aimed to reach out to 15 – 18 year old learners born from the 1st of January 1999 or younger in both rural and urban areas, the initiative also has the endorsement of the Gauteng Department of Education, and will be played out at the UJ’s Bunting Road Campus’ AW Muller Stadium.
Youth Football Technicians Lekgotla coaching workshops were hosted to help in the development of youth coaches, create an integrated network of coaches, address the daily struggles of youth coaches and find solutions to gaps in talent tracking and management in youth football.
To be spread across six provinces Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal,Western Cape, Free State, Limpopo and Mpumalanga, the winning school per segment stand to pocket R15 000 prize money, with the addition of Adidas playing kit, individual prizes per category in the form of goalkeeper, defender, midfielder, striker, top goal scorer and player of the tournament, rounding off the incentives.
Other awards will be imparted respectively unto the coach and referee of the tournament – as well as to teams who finish second, third and fourth, per category.
The draw shapes thus:
- Dr BW Vilakazi Secondary
- Mohloli Secondary
- Geluksdal Secondary
- Lawley ThutoLefa Secondary
- Namedi Secondary
- Winnie Mandela Secondary
- Rosina Sedibane
- Ekangala Comprehensive
- OR Tambo Secondary
- Magaliesburg Secondary
- Clapham High School
- Phefeni Secondary
- Mabopane High
- Alexandra Secondary
- JHB Secondary School