Mayor Dan Plato, MECs Anroux Marais and Sharna Fernandez bid farewell to the team representing SA at the 2019 Homeless Street Soccer World Cup in Wales. Picture: Supplied

Cape Town - Mayor Dan Plato and MECs Anroux Marais and Sharna Fernandez officially bid farewell on Tuesday night to the team that’s going to represent South Africa at the 2019 Homeless Street Soccer World Cup in Wales between July 27 and August 3. 

The annual event has taken place for the past 17 years, with Cape Town getting involved in 2006. 

The team selected is managed by NGO Oasis Reach for a Dream, with eight players from five different South African provinces included. 

“We do not only target people who are living on the streets, but also those who are in informal settlements and townships and are exposed to high levels of drugs and crime. The street people selected must also be part of an NGO so that they will have a network to return to when they come back home,” said Oasis founder, Clifford Martinus. 

“For this tournament, we targeted young people 18 years old and older, but we also have different football clubs that we start in underprivileged areas where we target young people who are 14 years old and older, using football as a tool for social development and teaching these young people valuable life skills,” he added. 

This evening in Philippi, the eight participating young men are to officially receive the football kit they will be using in the tournament. 

“We have found that many of the former participants return to the programme to assist and facilitate new players in preparation for their participation at the annual World Cup,” said spokesperson for the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Stacy McLean.

The team of 8 players was selected through community-based street soccer initiatives across the country. Representing South Africa at the World Cup will be:

  • Sibusiso Joseph Dyantyi
  • Tankiso Vincent Lesia
  • Wade Samuels from Parkwood, Western Cape
  • Sinesipho Dayimani
  • Katleho Moses Molieana from Gugulethu, Western Cape
  • Lucky Tyokwana from New Crossroads, Western Cape
  • Sbonelo Ngubane
  • Yandisa Nomadluka

MEC Fernandez said: “We know this Team will make our nation proud. Furthermore, supporting initiatives such as the Homeless Soccer World Cup Foundation, serves as a way to bridge the gap between our vulnerable youth and those who are more fortunate. We are pleased that many of the selected individuals in this team, wish to use their own experiences to uplift fellow youth in their communities.”

Mayor Dan Plato added: “We are pleased at the efforts of the programme, which offers constructive ways for vulnerable youth and street people to improve their lives. In addition to the interventions offered through the foundation, the City of Cape Town offers a range of ways to support vulnerable people with the aim of bettering their daily experiences. We are 100 percent behind our team and are excited to see them make us proud."

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