The winning teams of the 2012 Spur Masidlale soccer league were treated to an unforgettable experience when they took the field as mascots for Orlando Pirates this weekend.
Both the Sapebuso girls’ and boys’ teams finished top of the log in their categories and walked off with the 2012 Soweto Spur Masidlale championship trophies and the grand prize, which included lunch at the Spur and a PSL mascot experience.
After being treated to a terrific meal at Wild Spear Spur in Soweto they arrived at Orlando Stadium in high spirits on Sunday. Emotions were running high and excitement levels reached fever pitch as the kids were ushered into the stadium singing and dancing. After donning their Orlando Pirates kit, they were ready for action and had the once-in-a-lifetime experience of walking through the tunnel onto the pitch. Both Orlando Pirates and Amazulu shared the enthusiasm of the young soccer stars and joined in with singing and clapping – making the kids beam with joy.
A total of 400 learners from ten primary schools in Orlando battled it out during the league and although the competition was fierce, the hard work, team spirit and good soccer skills secured the top spot for Sapebuso Primary.
Both the Sapebuso girls’ and boys’ teams finished top of the log in their categories and walked off with the 2012 Soweto Spur Masidlale championship trophies. The grand prize included lunch at the Wild Spear Spur in Soweto before heading off to the Orlando Stadium.
According to project manager Khakhi Diala, the Spur Masidlale soccer league has touched the lives of more than 30 000 children. The initiative not only thought these kids soccer and life skills, but also developed and groomed more than 700 coaches and visited over 100 stadiums in South Africa since its launch in 2005 in association with Let’s Play.
“The programme is about so much more than just soccer and we were very fortunate to have some of the top PSL players involved during the league to teach children both life skills and soccer skills. The kids idealise these top players and will never forget the moment when they got to run onto the field hand-in-hand with their Orlando Pirates soccer heroes,” concludes Diala.
Former Banyana Banyana player and league ambassador Desiree Ellis emphasizes that it is crucial that the youth understands the importance of a good education and also that it takes commitment and hard work to be successful in life. “Too many of our former soccer heroes were not prepared for the hardship of life after soccer and are struggling today. I think the strength of the Spur Masidlale soccer programme, which is recognized as one of the leading youth soccer development initiatives in the country today, lies in the fact that the league is successfully used as a vehicle to teach vital life skills,” concludes Ellis.
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