Manenberg football club wants to give youth options instead of gangsterism
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Cape Town - With his goal of providing the youth of Manenberg with more options than what was offered to them, Friedl Gertse established the Young Tornado Warriors Football Club.
With youngsters easily falling prey to gangs in the area, Gertse says sports and initiatives aimed at community-building have proven to be quite successful in turning the tide against gangsterism.
"These initiatives have been successful in getting our kids off the street and mobilising the community in a way that leads to a positive impact in this crime-infested district of Cape Town.
"Our organisation wants to bridge the gap between sport and education within the Western Cape. Or to find out possible ways that our organisation can partner with you to further increase your brand awareness and product offering to our communities and learners who intend to study at tertiary institutions, but don't have the financial means,“ says Gertse.
Currently, the Tornado Warriors have between 70 to 80 players on the club’s books.
"But due to finances and lack of sponsors due to Covid-19 we had to downscale to about 55 players," says Gertse.
He says sport can unite a nation and a community, and the team's aim is for youngsters to leave their issues when they're on the field, whether practising or playing.
"We don't tolerate ill-discipline and we teach the youth how to work together as one team. We also teach them the basic principles of what it is like to play together as a new family," says Gertse.
The club has appealed for assistance from sponsors, having already been assisted by Hollywoodbets and LBH Chartered Accountants.
Gertse says: "My NPO Greater Purpose Outreach is also a main sponsor which I fund out of my own pocket, and is a member of the Sport For Social Change Network https://www.sscn.co.za/ where I am in talks with them to help us with funding and partnering".
Born and bred in Kuils River, Gertse attended De Kuilen Primary and Sarepta Secondary Schools, and now manages digital marketing for a private distance learning college in Stellenbosch.
"My vision is simple: empower the community to unite together to tackle the social problems they face. I want the youth one day to come back to Manenberg and rebuild on what we have built up for them.
“It is important for us that the youth share and respect the values we are implementing now for their children and the community of Manenberg," says Gertse.
With a grand vision of building a soccer club alongside club co-founder Magadien Wentzel that will eventually compete on the national stage, producing future football legends and an NPO that is actively fostering community sustainability, Gertse says he and his team look forward to employing the following steps to meet our goals;
1) To have our kids resolve their differences through soccer tournaments.
2) Employ our mothers to provide care and support.
3) Our fathers to provide guidance and leadership.
4) Encourage our community members to become active citizens in their homes and streets.
Cape Town is known around the world for its friendliness and spectacular beauty, but beneath the surface, and in plain sight is an ugly reality.
Violent crime in the Mother City, particularly on the Cape Flats, is the lived reality for most of the city’s residents.