Initiative to help underprivileged in a league of its own
CAPE Town has several soccer initiatives aimed at the youth. Coaching for Hope is an international organisation which trains coaches to approach life issues through soccer.
International project programme manager Sheylan Yearsely said that in the city over 800 children had been through either the HIV or drug programmes in communities from Khayelitsha to Green Point.
Coaching For Hope partners with several soccer organisations in Cape Town, including Grassroot Soccer, Amandla ku Lutsha and the Western Cape Street Soccer League, and many of the children benefiting from the project are “marginalised” – coming from the streets or from children’s homes.
Yearsely says they are developing a curriculum in other African countries focusing on children with disabilities. “Everywhere we go, all it takes is a few questions to find out that there are no coaches and no resources to train the coaches.
“We are addressing that need.”
Yearsely said that while the lack of playing spaces and facilities was sometimes a hindrance, theirs was a “zero resource curriculum”.
She said part of the coaches’ training was how to make a playing space safe, adding that where people were passionate about soccer, they would find a place to play.