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2011-09-08: Grassroots soccer development a key to nurturing future stars

CRL. Chris Vondo, MMC for Community Development in the City of Johannesburg, says the under-17 soccer development programme is a critical initiative in developing the under-17 age group for both national under 20 as well as under 23 structures.

The soccer tournament is held under the banner, Stars of today, Legends of tomorrow, which was initiated four years ago with the view to assist with the development of soccer in South Africa.

The City is conscious of the fact that there is a need to develop other age groups below the targeted under-17, however, the targeted age group(under 17) is ripe for development into national structures. 

The MMC emphasize that the bias for this age group would also assist in keeping them away from being involved in acts of crime and other vices.

"Youth development is at the heart of our department. In fact our Sports and Development Programme (SDP) has endeavoured to create citywide cohesion through sports and creation by improving accessibility to sporting opportunities across the city. And this tournament here today bears the testimony", MMC Vondo said.

Through the sports programme, SDP, sports such as soccer, rugby, netball, softball and volleyball are played in different regions. At this year's Mayoral Cup, about 600 youngsters including teams comprising under 17 boys as well as under 15 girls' teams, under the banner of City of Johannesburg Local Football Association, were drawn from areas such as Orange Farm, Deep South, Eldorado Park, Roodeport, Soweto, Greater Mayfair, Alexandra Township, North Rand, Rand Central, Midrand-just to mention but a few.

The Mayoral Cup also exposes participants to potential soccer scouts who may link them to formal clubs and soccer academies. This initiative is organised in collaboration with stakeholders such as South African Football Association in Johannesburg and Nike South Africa, among other stakeholders.

Issued by:
City of Joburg

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Thembelihle Radebe               
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