9 June 2018 – COSAFA’s tradition of leaving a positive legacy wherever their tournaments are held was on display again on Thursday, 7 June 2018 as there were two more recipients of football equipment, apparel and coaching clinics for young, aspiring players.
The national teams of South Africa, Madagascar and Zambia travelled to rural Limpopo community of Ga-Kgoroshi, about an hour outside of Polokwane, where the 2018 COSAFA Cup is being held.
More than 100 learners, both boys and girls, were given a once-in-a-lifetime experience as players from the three national teams present put them through their paces with a range of football exercises.
And to leave a lasting legacy, COSAFA made a presentation of football equipment and apparel to the head women of Ga-Kgoroshi, Mrs MM Manamela, who had earlier welcomed the delegation to her community.
“It is very exciting for us to have such honoured guests in Ga-Kgoroshi and for these children it is a wonderful opportunity to be close to their heroes,” Mrs Manamela said. “We thank COSAFA for organising the teams to come to our community, and also for the gifts of soccer equipment.
“We want to give our young people the opportunity to play sport because it is not only good for their health, but also their minds, and keeps them away from social ills like drugs.
“For us as a community this is a very important day and we hope that within our community we can produce players to represent our country with pride.”
Another delegation from COSAFA went to the Greenside Primary School in Polokwane along with the national teams of Zimbabwe and Botswana, where there was also a hand-over of equipment and playing kit, as well as a coaching clinic for the youngsters.
“Just looking at the joy on the children’s faces shows you what this means to them,” a delighted Greenside headmaster, Mr Peter Ramaphakela, said. “We have so much talent in this area, but like many schools, we battle with funds for equipment.
“The donation made by COSAFA today goes a long way to helping us provide a sporting platform for these children and for them to maybe realise their dreams of playing for Bafana Bafana or Banyana Banyana one day.
“Thank-you to COSAFA for this generous gift, I know it will make a big difference in the lives of these children.”
COSAFA head of competitions, Mr Timothy Shongwe, says the initiatives the organisation takes to assist local causes is one of the cornerstones of the COSAFA Cup.
“We do not want to come to an area, host our tournament and leave without having provided a legacy of some sort,” Mr Shongwe said. “This is something we have done wherever we have been, and it is gratifying to see the way our donations are received. We can see the difference these donations make to the communities and it is in line with our mission to help grow and develop the game in Southern Africa.
“Who knows, we might have helped to launch the career of future Bafana Bafana players today.”