Minister Marais and Fritz Bid Farewell to SA Street Soccer Team
Today, 10 September 2015, Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais and Minister of Social Development, Adv. Albert Fritz, bid farewell to the team who will represent South Africa at the Annual Homeless Street Soccer World Cup taking place in Amsterdam from 12–20 September 2015.
Through community based street soccer initiatives, the team of 8 players was selected, of which 5 hail from the Western Cape. On Monday, Minister Marais had an opportunity to “play ball” with the team. They were also presented with kits and official caps to be donned at the international sporting event.
The players are: Avuyile Pawule (Captain), Luayanda Dangatya (Vice Captain), Phakama Tiko, Lisolomzie Matwa, Dillion Fletcher, Masizqkhe Myatoga, Langalethu Mbathe and Bonke Ntomjama
The South African Homeless Street Soccer programme, managed by Oasis Place is open to youth between the ages of 14–35 and aims to create soccer leagues in 20 local communities by 2020. The programme officially registered with and funded by the Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD), incorporates life skill training, HIV/AIDS awareness, as well as training camps in preparation for the Homeless Street Soccer World Cup.
When the team returns after the World Cup, they will be involved in positive youth development initiatives such as the Oasis Place “Reach for Your Dream” programme which empowers youth and adults to become self-sustainable members of their communities. Minister Fritz congratulates Oasis on their good work in assisting the homeless, as homelessness is more than just a lack of shelter, but also social isolation. Minister Fritz said, “DSD will continue to work with Oasis and organizations like them, especially as we conceptualize programmes and projects aligned to the Provincial Youth Development Strategy”.
Minister Marais is extremely proud of the team and grateful for the management and guidance provided by the team managers, coaches and support systems. Minister Marais said, “The team has risen above all odds and faced many challenges but they have now made positive choices, one of which is to focus on street soccer and to be involved in youth development initiatives made available to them”.
The Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport creates access to mass recreation, sport, arts and culture opportunities for the vulnerable and next level opportunities for participants with talent and potential.