Three young soccer stars from Linge Primary school in Nyanga are eager to show off their skills in KwaZulu-Natal after they were selected to take part in the four-day Ompetha tournament starting on Wednesday October 4.
Grade 6 pupils Avuyile Nohako, and Sibabalo Tsetsena and Siwaphiwe Stuurman, both in Grade 7, were selected in a schools tournament to represent the province.
The Linge Primary school pupils are part of the first team squad from the Mother City set to leave for the tournament.
For the boys, it will be an experience they will never forget. It will be their first time on a plane and flying out of the province.
However, for them to fully fulfil their dreams, the young soccer stars need about R6500 each to cover transport, accommodation and food.
With unemployed parents, their dreams may be shattered if no one comes to their rescue. But the school is trying all it can to get help by asking for donations.
Smiling from ear to ear, Siwaphiwe Stuurman said he was over the moon to go out and represent the Mother City and his crime-riddled area of Philippi. The defender admitted to being amazed by his selection but said he wanted to show off his talent.
“I am happy about this opportunity to go and show my talent. I am living in Philippi with my six siblings. Who knows, maybe I might get selected to play for one of the big teams and change my situation. My parents are both working as domestic workers but they cannot afford a lot of things,” he said
Avuyile Nohaka lives with his aunt who is unemployed. He is also delighted with the opportunity to represent the province.
“We live in areas where there are few opportunities. I want to go play and show the world that even in areas like Nyanga there is talent not only overrated crime. I need to work hard because it is hard to get an opportunity like this,” he said.
Proud coaches Lwandile Bimba and Siseko Ngxukama said they were delighted that their boys would compete against boys of their age from other parts of the country.
The duo said the three boys were selected after they were sent to the trials and made it to the final list.
“After we played in a school’s tournament here at home, they were invited for trials. They were four and competed with hundreds of other children from different schools. In that four the three were selected. I am proud of them because they competed with many others, in areas they are familiar with. That alone shows character,” said coach Bimba.
He said as a coach one wants to see their players growing. His only prayer is that they can receive financial assistance.
“We never thought that they would come this far. That is a proud moment for us as coaches and the school. But I pray they get assistance and see their dreams getting off to a good start,” the proud coach says.
His assistant coach Ngxukama added that there is still a lot of talent that will come out of Linge Primary.
He said the only worry with their children is that most parents are unemployed so they miss out on opportunities like the one received by the three.
However, he was adamant that there may be a Good Samaritan who would be willing to help.
Linge Primary School can be contacted on 021 100 5569.