Diepsloot soccer tournaments deliver more than sport
The Safe-Hub in Diepsloot is running soccer tournaments on public holidays to celebrate the day – Freedom, Youth, Women, and Heritage – to commemorate history, to share life skills lessons, and to give youngsters in the community a fun, healthy, sporting experience for the day.
The soccer tournaments also give staff from Montecasino, a primary sponsor of the Diepsloot AMANDLA EduFootball Safe-Hub, the opportunity to get involved in the property’s CSI initiatives, enjoying the events with the youngsters and engaging with them about the significance of the day and their roles and responsibilities in building a brighter future for themselves and the country.
On Women’s Day on 9 August, 60 U16 girls and 46 of their family members from the community were treated to a day of action on the sports field and pampering and lifeskills learning off it, on the theme of ‘I am beautiful and powerful’. The girls and their guests were taught about the history and significance of Women’s Day, were encouraged by others’ success stories, and given lessons on hygiene and beauty, adolescence, safety, and women empowerment – a topic covered by five Montecasino cash desk staff volunteers.
The day included pampering by Dee Slimming and Wellness Centre, which also trained seven Itirele Zenzele high school volunteers in giving manicures, massages, and hand rubs; a live performance by Thatha Entertainment; and an educational talk about cancer and early detection by Pink Drive.
Shanda Paine, Tsogo Sun’s Group CSI Manager, says the passion the young girls have for the game of soccer, often considered a male domain, is to be encouraged. “The Women’s Day tournament carried the clear message that they are powerful, beautiful, and feminine on and off the sports field, as well as valuable lifeskills lessons for their overall wellbeing – and gave everyone who participated a day of great entertainment. The Safe-Hub has pulled out all the stops for these public holiday tournaments that by all accounts are having a positive impact on the youngsters.”
On Youth Day on 16 June, the Safe-Hub hosted boys from Diepsloot in an under-12 tournament when the significance of the June 1976 youth uprising and today’s youth and their impact on the future of the country was the focus of the activities. More than 150 boys participated in the day’s sporting and life skills activities, with passionate and committed Montecasino staff volunteers, many of whom are from Diepsloot, contributing to the life skills workshop and discussing the theme of the day, ‘I am the future’, and what that means to a 12-year-old boy living in Diepsloot.
Earlier in the year, on Freedom Day on 27 April, the Safe-Hub hosted 110 U16 boys from Diepsloot in a five-member teams soccer tournament, and accommodated three Grade 11 learners from the Itirele Zenzele Secondary School Tourism Class, who gained valuable work experience and participated in providing catering services on the day. Montecasino volunteers spent time with the young soccer players, chatting about the meaning of freedom in South Africa and its relevance to young men in Diepsloot.
Says Mike Page, GM of Montecasino, “These public holiday soccer tournaments have proved to be a great success for all participants. They are an excellent way to entertain youngsters, share valuable life lessons with them, encourage them to focus on building bright futures for themselves, and to add more fun to their lives.”
The Safe-Hub also hosted an ‘Olympics’ event for Diepsloot youngsters in a three-week holiday programme during the winter school break, with another one planned for the spring break. All Safe-Hub programmes include interactive and positive life skills workshops.
The Diepsloot Safe-Hub has been operating at Muzomuhle Primary School in Diepsloot since February 2016 and is delivered by AMANDLA EduFootball through funding partnerships with Montecasino and other committed corporates. It provides more than 700 local youngsters from grades R to matric regular access to a safe environment for facilitated sports, arts, life skills lessons, and personal development.