27 December 2017 – SAFA NEC member Ria Ledwaba and LaLiga’s Africa Director, Antonio Barradas attended the annual Nhlanhla Mdlalose Soccer tournament in Ladysmith, KZN on Boxing Day.

The tournament ran from 24-26 December and was contested by teams from in and around the Ladysmith area.

Among the football stars that attended the Boxing Day finals were Siyanda Zwane (Mamelodi Sundowns), Siyabonga Nkosi (ex-Kaizer Chiefs star), Thamsanqa Gabuza (Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates striker) and coaches Roger Sikhakhane and Vusumuzi Vilakazi who coaches Golden Arrows MDC.

The tournament is a brainchild of popular TV series star Sibaya, Nhlanhla Mdlalose who plays the role of Bongani in the drama series.

Mdlalose’s co-actors were among those who attended the Boxing Day final activities.

Ms Ledwaba commented such initiatives saying such tournaments are where most football stars are born.

“SAFA’s Vision 2022 entails identifying talent from far flung areas and such tournaments go a long way in helping identify talent hidden in rural areas. SAFA needs individuals like Nhlanhla Mdlalose who play their part in helping aspiring football stars realise their dreams. We need more and more of such tournaments to not only keep kids away from the streets but achieve their goals,” she said.