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By unknown | Feb 01, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Thandukwazi Gcabashe

Thandukwazi Gcabashe

Shona Khona has given many opportunities to its young participants in the last three years of its existence.

Reckitt Benckiser's and Metcash's education-through- sport initiative aims to develop young South Africans between the ages of 10 and 16 from under-resourced communities.

The soccer and life skills project continues to bring big smiles to the faces of determined youngsters.

One young aspirant who is very eager and is doing everything possible to answer the call of Shona Khona is 12-year-old Lereko Rakgoadi.

He has been to two camps already and came close to being invited to the national camp, which will be held in Johannesburg in May.

Participants are selected to attend the Shona Khona camps after entering a lucky draw.

So Rakgoadi, the diminutive midfielder in the mould of Bafana Bafana and former Orlando Pirates midfielder Benedict Vilakazi, will have to enter many times to secure his place at one of the camps.

Rakgoadi, who has a never-say-die attitude, has no intention of giving up. Though he was not selected for the regional camp this year, he has attracted a lot of interest from Shona Khona coaches.

Soccer star and former Moroka Swallows player Nobel Maja said: "The boy is a marvel to watch. He has a lot of potential and room to grow because of his age."

Sifiso Mnguni, who signed a three-year professional contract with Platinum Stars development side, is a Shona Khona success story. Youngsters all over the country look up to Mnguni, just as they do to the very talented Tyroane Sandows.

The soccer star, who is enrolled at the Sao Paulo Futebol Academy in Brazil, continues to fly the South African flag high overseas.

Soccer supremo Marks Maponyane is a great supporter of Shona Khona.

"The programme is indeed making an impact on young people's lives through life skills, even though disappointment is the nature of the game and the young maestro knows only too well that we are not judged by how many times we fall, but by the number of times we get up."

Shona Khona has partnered with Mamelodi Sundowns and AIG to extend this fantastic opportunity to all participating children to have a greater chance of being selected for the camps and to be put through their youth academy and hopefully be noticed for bigger opportunities.


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