Boredom, lack of opportunities for the less academic, and then the subsequent involvement in crime and drug dependency can be an issue in most communities.
Our Girls Soccer Project offers an out-of-school activity that teaches skills, life lessons, promotes health and well-being, addresses some of the challenges that the children face, and helps to alleviate boredom caused by the absence of stimulating activities.
The girls train at the Smutsville sports field on week days, after school, (except Wednesday) after they have completed their home chores, and on Saturdays. They are coached by a local Smutsville resident, Vusylie Pauli ( supported by Smutville resident freshStart volunteers in the role of chaperones ) and, on occasion, a senior SAFA women’s coach, Phumeza Ngwane. They are also encouraged to take ownership of tasks, such as managing equipment and participating in their own small fundraising activities, so that they also learn the values of hard work and how to help themselves.
The reward of their hard work is now paying dividends. 2 girls at under 15 and 2 girls at under 13, have been chosen to play for the Local Football Association and represent the Western Cape. As a result, these hard working young ladies get to travel, and spend time away from the ‘demands at home’.
The girl’s learn many lessons: self-discipline and good behaviour, team work, commitment, self-control, self-worth, positive ambition; inclusivity, managing success /failure, financial appreciation/value.