Ini­tia­tive to help un­der­priv­i­leged in a league of its own

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - LIFE -

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.

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