Something exciting is brewing in the deep rural areas of Selepe, Dipetloane, Transacty, Ngobi, Swaartboom and Vontin.
With virtually no facilities and resources, Hendrick Meselane has been grooming disadvantaged rural boys and girls in the niceties of sport over several years.
With a grim determination to succeed and uplift the community, Meselane has established a rural football association organised as Community Outreach Project(COP) in the Moretele region of the North West Province. The Community Sports League serves as a feeder to the Sports Academy which provides further support to the young footballers, the best of whom find their long awaited opportunity to join the competitive National First Division(NFD) and the prestigious Premier Soccer League. It is a long way for most rural young footballers with no soccer boots, balls and lawns.
In order to motivate and recognize excellence, the Sports League holds annual awards events in which the best of the best receive prizes. It is usually a glamorous event that the players really enjoy. This is a clear indicator that progress is being made in the project. It is no doubt inspiring for those who receive awards and motivating for those who will work hard to be part of the winners in the award ceremony of the following year.
Surely no single individual can achieve much greatness without the support of a team. The Community Outreach Project boasts a brilliant and enthusiastic team made up of the following:
Chairman: Hendrick Meselane
Personal assistant: Kate Setumo
Head coach: M Ndlovhu
Technical advisor: Mashishi AM
Health: Debeila E
Soccer Co-ordinator: Mdhuli N
Netball Co-ordinator: Nchabele N
Match Commissioner: Moeng N
The vision of this empowering Sports League is “to initiate and improve the status and standard of children sports to disadvantaged communities in order to compact their current disadvantaged status and obtain transformed communities.”
In concluding the interview with the Thuma Mina Movement’s crew, Hendrick Meselane emphasized the importance of education in the outreach programme. “Whatever we do we always recognize that sport is a short term career that can end anytime; this explains why we attach so much importance to education. One broken leg means the days of participating in soccer are over and there must be a fall back position which is always education. Even in our awards we factor in the progress made in education in choosing the winners.”