Learners aged 10 to 12 have enjoyed the annual Masidlale soccer clinics designed to integrate children from all walks of life through a fun-filled, interactive sporting experience.
During 2005, in the build-up to the 2010 Soccer World Cup, Spur Foundation identified the need for a platform that would introduce disadvantaged children to the game of soccer, while simultaneously promoting life skills development. This is when Spur Soccer Masidlale (“Let’s Play!”) was born with the help of UMBRO SA, MACSTEEL Maestros and Super Sports Let’s Play.
What first started as eight one-day soccer clinics in select provinces, today has grown to twelve clinics across four major provinces, namely Western Cape (Gugulethu), Gauteng (Braam Fischerville), Eastern Cape (Motherwell), and Kwazulu Natal (Umlazi).
To ensure that Masidlale goes beyond a mere day of fun, the programme has been tailored over the years to identify and grow emerging talent, as well as provide a platform for developing and supporting local coaches.
Spur CEO, Pierre van Tonder, sums up the thinking behind the Masidlale initiative well:
“Children readily relate to football and the combination of personal skills and teamwork required to win makes the game a great metaphor for learning other life skills. This makes it an ideal platform on which to base the life skills programme. This component of Spur Masidlale aims to help children identify a talent that goes beyond simply kicking a football, and to appreciate and develop their innate skills.”
One boys’ and one girls’ team from ten schools were chosen to participate in the Masidlale League games that took place over nine consecutive weeks, culminating in a much anticipated final, where the winners took home bragging rights, as well as the opportunity to be player mascots at a PSL game.
The Spur Soccer Masidlale program also has primary regional ambassadors who further promote the program but also provide guidance to kids and coaches within the program. In 2013 we had signed up Matthew Booth (Cape Town), Helman Mkhelele (JHB), Patrick Mayo (Port Elizabeth) and Dillon Sheppard (Durban.
According to Khakhi Diala (Brand Activation Manager at Spur Steak Ranches) they are extremely excited about the success of the past season.
“We definitely started from humble beginnings with 12 one-day coaching clinics in 2005, but the league has grown steadily and has highlighted the huge need for initiatives that provide a platform for youth development,” says Diala.
Diala further emphasised that the most rewarding aspect of this corporate investment initiative was that it gave the group the opportunity to change lives.
“Soccer is just the tool we’re using. Our goal is to empower both the coaches and the kids with important life skills, which will equip them to be role models in their communities long after the Spur Masidlale league comes to a close,” states Diala.
Find out more about this amazing initiative by visiting the website or calling Khakhi Diala on (021) 555 5333.