UJ Football Club, SABC join hands in mentoring future soccer stars

On Human Rights Day (21 March 2023), the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) Football Club joined hands with the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Sport to provide a football coaching clinic to children under 12 years old. Held at the UJ Orban in Westdene, the coaching clinic was organised to promote football and sport among the youth, particularly children.

Clad in a black kit with UJ Sport and SABC Sport logos, the kids spent the day with South African household names such as former footballers Daine Klate, Moeneeb Josephs and Nthabeleng Modiko, among others, learning how to kick, control, dribble the ball and working as a team. The children began their day with a warm up session in the morning, followed by a few group and individual sessions with the former PSL football stars.

The UJ Football Club and SABC Sport held a coaching clinic for children under 12-years-old at the UJ Orban on Tuesday, 21 March 2023. Photo: Daine Klate (Twitter)

UJ coaches and student-athletes volunteered to teach the kids basic and challenging football skills as well as concentrating during games and balancing academics and sport. A big group of the kids came from Bosmont LFA, a CSA project held every week for underprivileged kids. The rest of the kids are Johannesburg residents.

Asked about what she had learnt, Leila Benjamin (12) said, “I have learned how to pass and tap the ball, working as a team and just trusting the process, all that.” Leila hopes to play for UJ in the future.

“Having a clinic for these kids is important for us. We do it once a year, to get them together, and teach them different skills. Having coaches that are professional, like Daine Klate, Moeneeb Josephs, and Nthabeleng ‘Dunga’ Modiko from Hollywoodbets Super League, is very important because they know what it takes to teach and inspire from a professional experience. So, this was an awesome day.

“Thank you to UJ Sport as well for incorporating us into their sporting programme – these kids are the future UJ students and the next generation of SABC Sport audiences,” says Sundesh Mahes: Head of Marketing at SABC Sport.

The UJ Football Club – SABC Sport coaching clinic was open to Johannesburg girls and boys aspiring to be future soccer stars. Photo: Daine Klate (Twitter)

SABC Sport is a free-to-air sports television channel run by the public broadcaster. It is in the top 10 of most watched channels on Openview.

Mahes said that the event was inspired by the SABC’s youthful audience as well as the success of the UJ Football Club. Their football platform broadcasts leagues such as the English Premier League, Bundesliga, Hollywood Bets Super League, PSL, and Ladies FA Cup.

“We are particularly excited as this initiative aligns with our objectives. The UJ Football Club provided the facility and coaches on the day as well as getting the kids here. Thank you to SABC Sport for choosing UJ Football Club as a partner on this project”, said Nolufefe Sila, Manager: UJ Football Club.

Moving forward, Mahes said that for this initiative to be a success, they need to keep going to ensure adults create such opportunities for kids.

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