This week we had the eight kids going to Cape Town for the opening of the Football for Hope Centre into our office for their first training session. The idea was to get them to meet each other, as they were from different townships and different schools. They were accompanied by Nobuhle, one of our trainers, who had been rewarded with the trip for her excellent work in 2009.
The day did not start well at 6am. As we move into South African summer, you would have thought bright sun shine could be expected, but no, torrential rain and wind all day! This made the drive to Edendale a struggle and meant we could not practice outside all day, a change of plan was needed!
So we started with a refresher of the WKU programme in the boardroom, before the kids were taken to a nearby football centre where the kids could practice inside, where we were very kindly given the facilities for free. Led by ex professional footballer Paul Kelly (Manning Rangers), our new volunteer Matthias, with Marcus ensuring the kids were interacting as a team, the kids were great! Having been chosen for their attitude in class and dedication to the programme, rather than pure footballing ability, we were very pleased with the level of football and the speed at which they gelled as a team.
Then it was back to the office to practice their Zulu dancing for a 10 minute presentation to be given in Cape Town, practicing two songs. We still need to source the traditional dress, but think they will be a great success!
Lastly, we gave them interview practice. The kids who had been singing and dancing minutes earlier suddenly became quiet when our journalist for the day, Tom, started interrogating them. They came out of their shell after a while and made a pleasant change to the monotone footballers you have on the TV these days; “it was a game of two halves, well you never know, one game at a time….. etc!” Let′s hope with more practice next week they will become seasoned media professionals, they certainly have great stories to tell!
Then today, after a very kind donation from the UK, we were able to buy some football boots for the kids and Nobuhle, who will be taking part in a Coerver coaching course while in Cape Town, so they do not have to play barefoot!
We have one more practice session next week then it’s off to Cape Town, so please check back for updates and more pictures!!!