We made this video with the of our most solid 98s- Carl, Sinethemba, and Wade for our Annual Fundraiser at Sun Valley. You’ll love all that they had to share. They are growing up so fast!
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Recently, Ubuntu took 23 girls to the MITS (Making an Impact Through Sport) Human Right’s Day Football tournament celebrating women in Mitchell’s Plain. The girls came from Ocean View and Masi, and for two days they played football and had time to just hang out together.
Each team played 5 games over 2 days and Love Life presented prevention education on HIV, early pregnancy, and drug and alcohol abuse. Amid the great football, the girls also learned about healthy self esteem, enjoyed great snacks and listened to some dance music between (and during) matches. Our two Ubuntu Football Girls teams finished 2nd and 6th out of 8 teams in the tournament. Through their efforts the girls earned medals and certificates and were also given T-shirts.
Aside from the physical gifts and awards, the real beauty of the tournament was seeing the girls’ joy and camaraderie. One player commented that it was so good to get out of Ocean View for a little bit. Another asked when we could start regular training. Other girls shared stories of HIV and early pregnancy, drug and alcohol abuse in their families, and the day to day struggles they face in their townships.
Ubuntu sees these girls. We see their beauty; we see their value; we see them and we love them. We officially launch our Ubuntu Football Girl’s program in April. The plan is to start with training once a week and participating in monthly matches. The initial goal is to train these girls and give them a place to play football. Our goal is to love them and help them learn to love themselves. We want to raise them up to be strong leaders in their community with grace, dignity, and a heart for others.
We have so much to celebrate this week! This past week two of our teams won tournament championships.
The U16s won the Inaugural Rygersdal Club Championship. It was a smaller tournament, but with some quality teams. The boys played 5 round-robin group games. They won all 5 of those. They then played a final against the 2nd place team in the round-robin, Idas Valley. This was actually a bit of a rematch because most of those boys played for a school that defeated them in the U15 Coke Cup with their schools. Over the course of the games the boys scored 19 goals and only conceded once. Carl Van Rensburg was highest scorer of the tournament with 6 goals and Chadley Philander was named Player of the Tournament.
While that was nice, our U13s won the Strandfontein Tournament-by-the-Sea. This is, without a doubt, the best U13 tournament in our region. With 32 clubs participating, all of the “big boys” play in this tournament. This victory is our most significant to date. This year’s tournament was even more difficult than in the year’s past. Because the Friday was a public holiday they added a whole extra day. The team played 7 matches over 3 days. Thankfully, Coach Sean has developed a lot of depth in the squad and he was able to rotate players regularly throughout the group games and the early knockout rounds.
The team eliminated Morgenster 2-0 in the quarterfinals on Sunday. At the same time Milano was beating Ajax CT on penalties to set up our opponent for the semi-final. We eliminated Milano in the semis. We were already winning 1-0, and had just been awarded a penalty kick, when one of their supporters attacked the referee. The match was called off and we advanced, though we were all over them anyways.
In the Final the boys were matched up against Maties. This is a newer club on the scene, and they eliminated Old Mutual and Fire Fighters in the quarters and semis. Maties opened the scoring in the 1st half on a free kick that they shot in from just inside midfield. That ended up being one of only two shots on goal that they would have (the other also being a free kick that they tried to shoot from around midfield). Our boys were playing some really nice soccer and continued to create chances. They were frustrated at halftime to be trailing.
However, after a positive pep talk from Sean at halftime the boys came out determined in the 2nd half. They continued creating chances in front of goal and even hit the crossbar once. Finally, Ashley Wyngaard found the equaliser after some nice combination play with Josh Fisher and Ridhaa Essack. The winner came shortly after when Vusumzi Plamana played a beautiful through ball to Tevin Potts who rolled the ball home.
It was such an exciting match. I was so proud of the character that all the boys showed. They pushed themselves through fatigue to play that many games. They never let themselves get dragged into conflict as teams continued to foul them. And they supported each other well. What a massive weekend for us!
Not to be lost in all of this was that Ubuntu put together its first girls team ever to play in a tournament in Mitchells Plain. We’ll get Coach Melissa to write a separate review about that.
There was so much wind in fact that the kids were having trouble working on their technical skills. The wind was blowing the balls everywhere and the wind was blowing sand in our eyes. What does any dedicated coach do? Coach Thomas and Coach Melissa held the balls while the kids practiced their technique of course. Crazy but it worked! The kids were serious about their skills and a little (or actually a lot) wind only made them stronger. However, we are hoping for calmer days this week!
Who are these kids that come to Football Forward?
They are creative, smart, talented, funny, focused, and very important to us. To know them is to love them.
These kids have dreams. Meet Casey. Casey has been coming to Ocean View Football Forward. She is 12 years old and is in grade 6. Her favorite color is purple and she likes math. She loves koala bears and mac&cheese. She hopes to be a nurse when she grows up. Casey is very focused at Football Forward. She is respectful and is a very good listener. It has been fun to see her confidence grow. She is a sweet girl with a very bright future ahead of her. Having her at FF and being able to love on her and encourage her has been a privilege. Helping her take steps towards her dreams is what we are all about!
These kids are determined. Our Masi Football Forward kids come out each week and play on a field that is dusty and bumpy and this week was also wet. They trained in the rain because they are learning that achieving goals takes hard work. Sometimes in order to reach greatness, things may be a little uncomfortable every once in a while. We love seeing them improve each week because they are learning how to work hard to achieve something that is important to them. They never complain. They never whine. They just train. Their smiles are contagious and coaching them is an honor.
This week our devotionals focused on discipline and integrity. Our Football Forward kids have potential. They have hopes and dreams. They are full of life. Being around them is joyful. So back to our original question….The kids that come to us each week are the future leaders of South Africa. They are super kids and we can’t wait to see what they will do!
In the past we’ve been really blessed to have a number of long-term volunteers. People doing gap years, taking a semester off, or needing a break after college. Right now there is a young man named Landon here from Alaska for 18 months. He’s primarily here working with Ocean View Methodist Church, but we steal him as much as possible. He’s a great asset to our work.
You can be a great asset also!! And we need you! With the rate that Ubuntu is growing and the different spheres that we are getting involved with we need more help. Our staff doubled this year but it seems as if our work tripled!
We have relaunched Football Forward this year with more clarity and focus. We’ve also launched it in a new community, Masiphumelele. So, we need more coaches for that. You don’t need to have a ton of experience, our coaches here can handle that part, but you can easily correct technique, offer encouraging words, and give high fives. You can help develop the devotions. And, we especially need female coaches to help us draw and retain more girls to the program.
With the Academy growing to 41 boys (53 if you include the Pre-Academy) we are stretched to the max. We need more coaches in that environment. We need people to help us set up fields. We could use people interested in strength training, exercise science, and athletic training. And most of all, we need people to help with the academic progress of the boys! The school manages that and provides after school tutoring, but 1 lady and 10 boys that are behind (some significantly) the grade level isn’t a great ratio. We could use volunteer tutors several days a week there.
As your organization grows, so does your financial need. As your financial needs grow, you are getting funding from a great variety of sources. And when that happens you need to communicate with them regularly to help them feel a part of the Ubuntu Family. We need help with that. Can you take pictures, tell stories, create content, manage a website & social media? We need help with it all!!
So, you can see we have needs. You likely have skills and a heart that you can offer. Are you a little fed up with the trajectory your life is on right now? Would you possibly want to spend your life in the investment of others, trusting that your investment would be a part of seeing this country change? Well, this would be a great place to do that. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll make this happen.
Recently we held our Annual Supporters Appreciation Night and Fundraiser at the Sun Valley Group of Schools. The school did an amazing job hosting us and made everything beautiful.
This year the event had a twist as we started off the evening playing a match against our proud supporters, Coast 2 Coast. They have been an amazing supporter of Ubuntu over the last couple of years.
Once we played against them, the boys played each other in a tightly contested match.
After the match all the guests joined us in the Hall for a presentation of our vision, our success, and the plans ahead. We ate a delicious meal and enjoyed sharing all that’s in store for Ubuntu.
After dinner the guests were invited for desert and coffee over at Silvermine Academy High School, where most of our boys attend school.
We’re so thankful for everybody that came and enjoyed the evening with us. Next year we hope to have even more supporters to appreciate!
Kids at Football Forward are creative. Each week they show up in a variety of styles ready to learn and play. This week in Masi one player showed up wearing two different boots. They were all he had so he got creative and made it work. Another player showed up sporting an original jewelry creation. He had turned an old phone cord into a necklace and he was proud of his bling.
The creativity in our Football Forward kids runs deep. They play with heart and soul. They play around the alcoholics passed out in our sandy field as if the guys were defenders who had decided to take a dive. They play scrimmages pulling out all kinds of creative street moves. They are inventors. They are problem solvers. They are dreamers. They are artists. They are smart, and they are talented. We love our Football Forward players and we love that they remind us each week to think outside the box!
We had a fantastic week at Football Forward in Ocean View and Masi. The kids are settling into a routine and they are coming out each week to train and have fun. We have so many awesome kids that are seeking wisdom and accountability despite the hardships in their communities. They know that they can count on Ubuntu each week, and they are learning to build relationships with each other. This week we had two very special boys that really defined one of the things we have been talking about…teamwork!
Jaden and Keanu have been best friends since grade 2. They are currently in grade 5 and told me that they always look out for one another. This week they shared boots. They said that it is more fun to work together! They were so encouraging to one another and their attitudes and hard work made us all smile!
This week we trained the players on different kinds of turns with the ball. We also talked about initiative and confidence. We want these kids to apply what they learn each week where they live, study, and play! Football Forward is a place to grow football skills as well as relationships. We love on these kids and they learn to love on each other!
For the 3rd year in a row we decided to take the boys on a preseason camp. It’s a great way to introduce the new guys to the group, get the rust kicked off from the summer holiday, and continue to teach our culture.
For the 2nd year in a row we headed just over Chapman’s Peak to Hout Bay. We stayed at the Apostles Battery Camp and trained in the Hangberg area. They were so gracious to let us train there.
This year the group was close to 40 boys, 9 coaches, and two amazing wives doing all the cooking! We had such a great time.
Here is an awesome recap video that our fantastic volunteer/intern, Landon, put together. Enjoy!!