Western Cape Government bid farewell to SA Homeless Street Soccer World Cup team
Last night, 23 July 2019, Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato, Ministers Anroux Marais and Sharna Fernandez officially bid farewell to the team representing South Africa at the 2019 Homeless Street Soccer World Cup.
The 17th edition of the Homeless World Cup will take place at Buke Park, Cardiff in the United Kingdom from 27 July – 3 August 2019.
The annual tournament brings together street football programmes from around the world, affording each player the opportunity to represent their respective nation with passion and pride. The tournament is a celebration of the work conducted by the Homeless World Cup Foundation and their national partners across the globe in attaining their mutual goal of seeking a better future for homeless individuals through soccer.
In addition to inspiring vulnerable youth to make positive changes in their lives, the Homeless World Cup annual tournament aims to challenge the public perceptions of homelessness and its surrounding issues. By showing the human side of homelessness, the foundation aims to help breakdown stereotypes and change the ways in which we think and talk about homelessness in that it not only refers to not having a home but rather engaging on a sense of belonging or the lack thereof.
The South African Homeless Street Soccer programme, managed by Oasis: Linking Lives Together is open to youth between the ages of 18-35 and aims to create soccer leagues in 20 local communities by 2020. The programme incorporates life skill training, HIV/AIDS awareness, as well as training camps in preparation for the Homeless Street Soccer World Cup.
The team of 8 players was selected through community-based street soccer initiatives across the country. Representing South Africa at the World Cup will be:
- Sibusiso Joseph Dyantyi
- Tankiso Vincent Lesia
- Wade Samuels from Parkwood, Western Cape
- Sinesipho Dayimani
- Katleho Moses Molieana from Gugulethu, Western Cape
- Lucky Tyokwana from New Crossroads, Western Cape
- Sbonelo Ngubane
- Yandisa Nomadluka
On the team’s return, they will participate in positive youth development initiatives at Oasis and various other partnering NGOs which empowers youth and adults to become self-sustainable members of their communities. The players have the opportunity to get involved within their own communities and share their individual experiences as well as the impact this opportunity had and will have in their lives going forward. Oasis has ensured that the players whilst still on camp were not only training physically but were also engaged with various life-skills activities during their month long stay at training camp. Support from the Western Cape Government led by Ministers Anroux Marais and Sharna Fernandez creates the enabling environment in which Oasis and its partners can use the power of sport for community development as well as the holistic growth of each player.
During the official send off last night, Minister Marais said, “Making this official kit handover all the more significant is that youth from under-resourced, vulnerable communities made the conscious decision to challenge the stereotypes often associated with these areas. The social ills plaguing these communities culminate into a mutual despondency further eroding at the sense of hope, motivation and self-determination needed to optimise on constructive potential to create an alternate lifestyle to the destructive path too many of their fellow youth have already fallen victim to. Yet, here we are, at the official send off of the shining beacons of hope and inspiration to communities such as Parktown, Gugulethu, New Crossroads and others suffering under turmoil often brought on by the vicious cycles of poverty and damaging social ills. This evening’s send off personifies the whole of society approach in that Oasis, the YMCA, the Western Cape Government, the City of Cape Town and esteemed partners: both local and international renew our collaborative commitment to use street soccer as a means of social and personal development amongst young people affected by the societal challenges that often place them at high-risk”.
Minister Fernandez said, “We know this Team will make our nation proud. Furthermore, supporting initiatives such as the Homeless Soccer World Cup Foundation, serves as a way to bridge the gap between our vulnerable youth and those who are more fortunate. We are pleased that many of the selected individuals in this team, wish to use their own experiences to uplift fellow youth in their communities.”
“We are pleased at the efforts of the programme, which offers constructive ways for vulnerable youth and street people to improve their lives. In addition to the interventions offered through the foundation, the City of Cape Town offers a range of ways to support vulnerable people with the aim of bettering their daily experiences. We are 100 percent behind our team and are excited to see them make us proud,’ said Executive Mayor Dan Plato.
We wish Oasis and Team SA well in the coming World Cup and continued focus and success in the programmes and networks to be honed at the event as it contributes to the holistic development of each participant, who is in dire need of positive alternatives to the realities faced on a daily basis.