Local sportNewsSport

U13 girls make their coaches proud in Sandton

Find out how partnership between the right people is benefitting grass-roots soccer for girls.

Magic happens when businesses and communities hold hands to materialise opportunities to develop grass-roots sports holistically.

This is what happened when Discovery Vitality, ForwardZone, and the Johannesburg Primary School Football Association hosted a U13 Girls’ Soccer Tournament at Crawford International Sandton Preparatory School on June 1.

As a part of the tournament, 130 girls from across Johannesburg were split up into eight different teams, based on their region, and then played against each other. The teams were named Wolves, Dragons, Panthers, Sharks, Tigers, Wild Cats, Bears, Pandas, and Elephants.

Ashley Kotzin, coach Simphiwe Dludlu and Deon Curtis break from watching good-quality football for this photo opportunity. Photos: Lebogang Tlou

Former Banyana Banyana captain Simphiwe Dludlu identified several points worth celebrating about the event, especially given her time spent with some of the coaches on April 13.

“I’m seeing the coaches who were in the workshop that we did, and you can already see their outlook, and how they are doing things with their teams, how they’re speaking to the girls on the touchline, how the girls come off – even if they’ve lost: they come off the pitch smiling,” Dludlu reflected.
“The girls are having fun. That’s what’s important to me. The recipients of the coaches investing in themselves are the players – is the game itself.”

Dludlu noted that the quality of football being produced by schools is growing through corporations like Discovery and Forwardzone investing.

Maggie Kasumba (green) looks to dribble the ball away from Tshegofatso Boikhutso (purple).

“The game is improving drastically, and it’s enjoyable to watch. The girls are wearing kits that fit them, and that boosts their confidence. It’s organised, and that’s what we’re talking about having at the grass-roots level.”

Ashley Kotzin, CEO of the Forwardzone group, described the tournament as being the evolution of the girls starting to play better, getting more excited, and working harder on their technical skills.

“I think there’s an annual improvement, where the girls get better: from their basic passing skills to their interactions as teammates,” Kotzin assessed.

The tournament has a 15-year legacy in South Africa, according to Discovery Vitality senior partnership manager Deon Curtis. Curtis concluded with an outline of the opportunity the girls were vying for at the event.

Tshegofatso Moloi (blue) and Olivia McNeill (white) square off.

“All of them are looking to become selected into higher honours. Two teams from this festival here today will go on to participate in the Fran Hilton-Smith tournament, taking place at Camp Discovery in August.”

Related articles: Former Banyana captain trains school coaches in Parkmore

Montrose hosts annual soccer tournament

Related Articles

Back to top button