Soccer coach and church leader, Reverend Eric Madikane is committed to youth development and helping others live a life of purpose.
Being a soccer coach offers him the opportunity to help young people off the streets and educate them about life dynamics.
Having started a soccer team in 2013 to develop young people of his area, the Philippi resident is now feeling the pinch of doing everything all by himself, from buying the kits to footing the transport and many other bills.
His team, Thandabantu Football Club, is a member of Crossroads Local Football Association under Safa Cape Town.
But it is on the verge of collapse due to a lack of funding and its plight has prompted Mr Madikane to appeal to parents, funders and any good Samaritans to help the team.
”Running a team with no funding can be devastating at times. You need kits, tracksuits and at times you travel to far areas. You need to have money to join tournaments and these kids need to have a diet,” said Mr Madikane.
Thandabantu FC cares for more than 60 Philippi youngsters. Due to high crime and roaming around of children, Mr Madikane said he decided to do something for his community.
“As much as I am complaining now, I have seen the results. Children are committed to me and the team. They are passionate about sport just like me. I am doing this for the love of sport and my community. But it pains me when no one, no parent seems to see what I am doing. I have to dig deep from my pocket to fund the team. This is not mine but the community team,” he told Vukani.
But the 50-year-old coach is adamant that one day there will be light at the end of the tunnel. And he has a message to parents of his boys: “assist me and your children”.
“We are in desperate need of financial relief. We are not sitting down waiting for manna from heaven. We are continuously trying to fundraise through all sorts of means.
Mr Madikane is extremely grateful for the support of people like Sindiswa Mkhumbuzi and Zola Mtshabe who have lent a helping hand.
“He has done good for this community. We decided to do some administration work just to take off some of the load on his shoulders,” said Ms Mtshabe.
“But we are trying all we can to get some sponsorship. I am adamant that we will have a good Samaritan to help us.”
In the meantime the team will continue playing and honouring its fixtures despite the difficult times the club is facing.
Coach Madikane can be contacted on 078 303 9222.