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Back You are here: Home Sports Soccer Soccer: Mr Price High School League Getting Even Better!
Wednesday, 30 January 2013 10:20

Soccer: Mr Price High School League Getting Even Better!

What began in 2005 as an ambitious vision to use the power of sport to bring about social change has since evolved into a thriving high schools soccer league programme that has now been implemented in seven provinces across South Africa.

MPS1The roots of this remarkable story first took shape on the football fields of Mitchells Plain eight years ago when a successful Cape Town businessman Shamiel Kolbee put his vision of “a game plan for change” into action with the belief that sport could transform young lives for the better.

 

This saw the launch of the Mr Price High School Soccer league in Mitchells Plain in the Western Cape, where poverty and gangsterism were rife, and sporting activity at a low.

 

 Under the watchful eye of Kolbee and with the support of Mr Price, this league involving all 16 of Mitchells Plain high schools - supplemented by a feeder academy – has simply gone from strength to strength.

 

Independent research conducted in Cape Town for the league quickly revealed that such aprogramme encouraged discipline, respect for others, healthy living and a sense of belonging.

As a result, in 2009, the Mr Price Group received the Mail and Guardian Sports Development Award for investing in the Mitchells Plain development soccer project, which included the formation of the Parkhurst Football Academy – a feeder system for the league.

 

With a sustainable league having been in place for several years, the evolution of the project then led to the launch of the Mr Price Kwadukuza Soccer League,which also included 16 high schools and took place on either side of the soccer World Cup in 2010.

Subsequently, the ongoing success of this exciting initiative has led to the expansion ofsuch soccer leagues into seven provinces across South Africa, involving over 3000 learners from more than 100 schools.

 In 2011, the Mr Price Group established RedCap Sport, a Non-Profit organisation to manage the implementation of these leagues and to drive the growth potential towards its vision.

 

Part of the strategy for the project includes the facilitation of life-skills programmes for players in the leagues, with the aim of helping them improvetheir levels of self-esteem and achieve their dreams.

 A further objective of RedCap Sport is to to expand the high school leagues into all nine province of South Africa, while a girls soccer league has already been launched in the KwaDukuza region.

 Former Bafana Bafana captain Neil Tovey, who is an ambassador for the Mr Price High School leagues, said it had been very special to witness the project take off.

 “It’s just been so pleasing to see the good will that has come from this programme. We have seen how football has had an impact on giving the community a sense of belief and pride. Many of those participating in the leagues have taken theopportunity to embrace a new positive way of life.”

  Tovey also paid homage to the RedCap Sport vision of contributing to South African society by using sport as a vehicle to promote social development and positive change.

 

 “Sport is like music, it’s in our bones. It’s a universal thing that can conquer all boundaries and the end results have been clear to see. It’s been a dream come true to see how this project started small and has progressed across the country. That wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t successful and all stakeholders involved must be very proud of what has been achieved thus far.”

 

All programmes and leagues are implemented in partnership with the National Department of Basic Education (NDBE), while other partners include Local Government, the Department of Sport and Recreation, Business, Civil Society, Sports Associations, Training Institutions and Tertiary Education Bodies.