Children must be encouraged to become members of the ‘Right Team’ and together with title sponsors Sportsmans Warehouse, stalwart co-ordinator Shirley Botes and the incredible community of Ocean View we decided to get together to make this happen! Promoting joining a sports team and not a gang was the pertinent message of our 2019 Street Soccer programme.

In early October, in association with title sponsor Sportsmans Warehouse we rolled out a new Street Soccer programmed in the community of Ocean View to take back the streets from social evils and create a positive opportunity for the children of this gang infested community.

The Sportsmans Warehouse Street Soccer programme involves 120 boys and girls under the age of 12, empowering and exposing them to a brighter future through the valuable lessons of sport. Over eight weeks, twenty teams have taken to the street like pitches to compete in this specially adapted version of the beautiful game. At least two members of each team must be girls promoting gender equality and the players must have attended school throughout the year prior to the start of the tournament.

Matches and practices take place in those critical after school hours when the children are at high risk of destructive and anti-social behaviour. Filling this time with a positive activity is crucial, and this is the objective of the Western Cape Government’s Game Changer Programme, which Street Soccer will aim to form part of in the years to come.

It isn’t only the kids who will benefit from the Sportsmans Warehouse Street Soccer programme, over 20 members of the community have been trained up as coaches and receive much needed contractual employment.

The Festival Finale hosted on Friday 22nd November, was phenomenal and a fitting way to conclude the programme. The streets and courts of the communities are a great place for the children to display their skills without having to travel too far and the talent and flair is in abundance. Community members surrounded the side lines creating a stadium atmosphere, SuperSport Let’s Play was there to film the action and the children really embraced the opportunity to entertain, have fun and show off their soccer talents.

At the end of a wonderful programme it was the team named ‘Newcastle’ that took home the coveted trophy as 2019 champions. Everyone was a winner though with extras added from Sportsmans Warehouse and product partners Bold Gear, Food Lovers Market, Peninsula Beverages and by co-ordinator Shirley’s impressive connections.

Thanks to the title sponsors Sportsmans Warehouse for making this programme possible and to Shirley, the coaches, the players and the community of Ocean View

for their hard work in making it a great success. We look forward to hopefully growing the programme together in the years to come…