Aspiring professional soccer player, Jayde Van Der Byl, 16, is heading to Germany for the City Mission Educational Service’s seventh international soccer tour. The Grade 9 pupil from City Mission Secondary School in Bridgetown will represent his school in September.
And Jayde couldn’t be more excited. “I can’t wait,” he said on Tuesday.
Jayde stays at the school's hostel during the week and returns home on weekends. Balancing school and sport was a challenge for him, he said.
“It was very hard because we would have soccer practice after school, and then have other extra activities as well straight after,” Jayde said.
He was initially coached by his father, Errol, who said that soccer keeps teenagers in areas like Blikkiesdorp away from criminal activity.
“I am very proud of Jayde, but there are still financial issues involved, like the visa and the (plane) ticket,” he said.
Jayde’s coach, Ian Pakoe, said that he deserves this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. “He worked hard, he's a dedicated player, and that’s what they looking for,” Pakoe said.
He added that the overseas trip would also be a great educational experience for Jayde.