In the midst of Trading Live for Nelson Mandela week, Archie Mbolekwa Primary School were visited by the first team and coach from Nombulelo High School for a soccer training day on Tuesday 24 July.
The U13 A team from Archie Mbolekwa trained alongside the first team from Nombulelo for an hour long training session, where they played against one another on a small field and learnt tactics and skills from one another.
Mandilakhe Klaas, Nombulelo’s coach, believes that learning the basics of soccer is vital to a young child’s life. “These days, football is a career,” said Klaas. “Not all of [the students]are gifted in academics, but they can all learn to go further in football.”
“When you play football, you need to be disciplined,” said Klaas. “[Soccer] can protect them from social ills. During the weekends, they will go and play football, instead of hanging around in the township, being exposed to alcohol abuse,” said Klaas.
While the students from Archie Mbolekwa have achieved a lot on the soccer field in recent years, including winning three separate tournaments, they are always grateful for the advice and help that Nombulelo can give them. Yivani Ncwedi, the caretaker and soccer coach at Archie Mbolekwa, expressed the children’s excitement over for the training session.
“When the children were told about the game, they were very excited,” said Ncwedi. “If the game took place in the morning, the entire school would have been out supporting the boys on the field.”
“For me I think every day is a Mandela day,” said Klaas. “Hopefully we will build this relationship. This will not be the last time.”