27 September 2018– While the 2018 COSAFA Women’s Championship was taking place in Port Elizabeth, Sasol, in collaboration with the South African Football Association (SAFA), created an opportunity by giving a local Sasol League coach the chance to learn from Banyana Banyana head coach Desiree Ellis.
City Lads Ladies FC coach, Andile Mrwerwe visited Banyana Banyana’s training sessions where he shadowed Ellis to learn how things are done during an international tournament.
The visits were arranged in relation to Sasol and SAFA’s aim, which is to upskill Sasol League coaches through Ellis’ assistance. These also took place as a way to honour Mrwerwe as a #Limitless hero.
Limitless heroes form part of the #Limitless initiative by Sasol and SAFA, aimed at recognising individuals such as Mrwerwe for their continued efforts and contribution to women’s football.
“It’s been a great pleasure to have coach Andile during our training with the team. It is always great to pass on knowledge whenever I can and I know that he will take these lessons and put them to great use. I’d like to thank Sasol and SAFA for creating these opportunities, not only during Sasol League roadshows when we scout talent around the country, but whenever possible,” said Ellis.
Initially a men’s football coach, Mrwerwe started coaching women in 2004 after being inspired by a football coaching manual. Although he has had his ups and downs when it comes to coaching young girls, he has remained strong in his journey as a football coach.
Some of the challenges include the lack of resources or facilities because there aren’t a lot of people in the community who are willing to support women’s football.
“The lack of coaches has also left some players without mentors who can lead them in the right direction, which is one of the reasons why I started coaching women,” said Mrwerwe.
Despite these challenges, what inspires Mrwerwe to continue coaching and mentoring is the commitment of the players to the game, training and the increase in participation over the years.
Mrwerwe is a true reflection of what a #Limitless hero can do.
He saw a gap in his community where young girls needed coaching, mentoring and decided to coach girls instead of boys. He has worked hard in motivating other coaches to also coach young girls, in order to close the gap in the community.
“It has been a privilege observing the team train and learning from one of the best coaches in the country, Desiree Ellis. As local coaches we look to her for mentorship so that we can also mentor and help players in our communities. I really love what I do and believe that coaching young girls helps groom future community leaders, and teaches them discipline. For me #Limitless means being able to overcome all odds. Women’s football may have its challenges but with everyone working together, we have seen changes and growth,” said Mrwerwe.
Mrwerwe also received the opportunity hand over the Player of the Match trophy and cheque in the group stages clash between Banyana Banyana and Malawi where South Africa’s Linda Motlhalo was the recepient of the 10-thousand-rand prize money.
For more information on the #Limitless initiative and to show your support, search #Limitless on Twitter
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