JOHANNESBURG – The South African Football Association, together with the Spanish La Liga, launched a charity organisation called ‘Pass The Ball’ on Friday.
This is a course that is set to bring football development to children in disadvantaged areas.
The launch of this campaign was held in the Alexandra township, where neighbouring schools gathered to grace the ceremony.
Each student was given a bag that contained a La Liga-branded T-shirt and cap, and a soccer ball.
The launch was attended by Safa president Danny Jordaan, director of La Liga in Africa Antonio Barradas – who previously held the position of manager of the La Liga office in South Africa – Dutch legend Patrick Kluivert, who’s the campaign ambassador, and SA Under-17 girls coach Simphiwe Dludlu.
The founder of the campaign, Barradas, believes that this is an initiative that will change and shape the lives of children.
“Kids who stay in the township will value the ball more than the one who are in Sandton, so that’s why we chose to bring the campaign here,” Barradas said.
“We’ve brought trainers who’ll train local coaches, so that the kids and coaches can get the best of football knowledge. We want to improve and shape the lives of these children from a very young age.”
Barradas dished out some praise for the campaign’s ambassador Kluivert.
“Thanks to my good friend Kluivert, we managed to get this initiative off the ground,” Barradas said.
“When I went to Spain, I met with Kluivert and I told him about the project and he embraced it.”
SAFA President Dr Danny Jordaan with Patrick Kluivert at a joint SAFA/LaLiga event in Alex on Friday pic.twitter.com/5OGWVBd2au
Dludlu, who was born in Alexandra as well, believes that this initiative proves to upcoming youngsters that dreams can become a reality.
The 30-year-old will be taking Bantwana to this year’s Women Under-17 World Cup in Uruguay.
“This is a step in the right direction. It is really great because it’s showing possibilities, that there’s a lot of Simphiwe Dludlus that can come from this initative,” she said.
“There can be a lot of sportsmen and women that can be better than me, who’ve also come from disadvantaged areas.
“We (campaign ambassadors) are just giving hope that anything is possible. It is also giving me hope that I am on the right track as a coach.
“Specifically for me, I want to say thank you to those that supported me because such initiatives shows that when you are supported, you should continue grinding and working hard.”