Small teams to play for big dreams

“We believe that our young people must not rely on handouts but must rely on opportunities, because handouts are not going to take them any further, but opportunities are going to safeguard their futures,” said Member of the Executive Council (MEC) of Education Panyaza Lesufi at the McDonalds U14 schools league launch at FNB Stadium.

After running for eight years McDonalds has partnered again in the initiative and are working on the theme of ‘small teams, big dreams’.

“We believe that through the coach, we will be able to coach these young boys and girls that come to this league to fulfill their dreams of being superstars or giants in this fraternity,” said Chief Marketing Officer at McDonalds, Daniel Padiachy.

From left; Khabonina Zondo, Greg Soloman, MEC Panyazi Lesufi, Shoes Mazibuko Mwelase, Teko Modise.

Padiachy said that the fast food outlet wants to create platforms that allow children in these codes of sport, soccer in particular.

Legends in the sport were introduced to the programme this year to be part of the process to form as mentors around the country that will coach young boys throughout the competition.

Former players namely, Tebogo Mokoena, Mkhonza, Chippa Masinga, Mark Williams and Doctor Khumalo all headed by Khabonina Zondo.

Zondo said, “We are honoured to be part of this programme, we hope we see the fruits of this programme because under 14 is a very delicate age, it’s about how they are being groomed and how they are being trained.”

Ball jugglers showing skill on the stage.

Before the big reveal of the cup that the schools league will be competing for, the MEC had this to say.

“The future gold is children that are in the classrooms we need create opportunities for them and we need to give them lifetime opportunities.

“Our young ones must seize opportunities created by those that love them and we want to add all our young ones to grab this opportunity.

“We believe that these young ones must not stand in a queue for social grants but must stand in the queue for the graduation ceremony.”

The league promises to be an exciting one with children having the opportunity to travel around the country in provinces they have never been before, and the initiative sets to groom talent that will be seen in tomorrow’s Premier Soccer League.

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Sphindile Mbatha

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