On 24 August 2017 the Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais, and the Minister of Social Development, Albert Fritz, bid farewell to the team that will be representing South Africa in the 15th Edition of the Homeless World Cup in Oslo’s iconic Rådhusplassen in Norway.
The team of 8 players selected from across the country are: Ricardo Swartz (Captain) and Igshaan Gancitana from The Ark, Faure, Mzikayise Depha (vice-captain) and Thando Mthambo from New Crossroads, Aviwe Ganyanthi from Swellendam, Bonginkosi Nxhosa from KwaZulu-Natal and Athenkosi Qusheka and Anele Jamekwana from Molteno in the Eastern Cape. The team was chosen through community-based street soccer initiatives. They will depart on Sunday 27 August and will be competing in the tournament from 29 August – 5 September.
During his address Minister Fritz wished the team well for their endeavours in Norway and thanked all stakeholders for making this possible, especially Oasis Place, the non-profit organisation that manages the South African Homeless Street Soccer programme.
Minister Marais during her keynote address said “In my time as minister I continue to be fortunate enough to engage in positive youth development programmes. Oasis Place runs programmes of this nature. Since our partnership with Oasis in 2015, 32 young men and women had the opportunity to escape the cycle of poverty in their vulnerable communities through this intiative”.
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 marginalised people to make positive changes in their lives, the Homeless World Cup annual tournament aims to challenge the public perceptions of homelessness and the issues that surround it. By showing the human side of homelessness, the foundation aims to help break down stereotypes and change the ways in which we think and talk about homelessness.
Over 500 players representing more than 50 countries will be in attendance at the 2017 World Cup, in what is promised to be the biggest and most ambitious Homeless World Cup tournament yet.
DCAS offers unique sporting opportunities through partnerships to youth. These partnerships create an active province, BETTER TOGETHER.