Phil Masinga leads sporting chance for future stars
PHILEMON "Chippa" Masinga is very excited about a North West sports academy being named after him
The former Bafana Bafana striker, who will be remembered for his historic goal against the Congo that ensured South Africa a place to its first World Cup in 1998, said he could not wait to get the academy up and running.
Masinga views this as his opportunity to give back to the community.
"I feel it is time to share what I know with these young people. I believe the province has the potential to produce quality soccer players," he said.
The academy is composed of former professional soccer players now involved in coaching, refereeing and rehabilitation programmes.
The likes of Mark Fish, Fabian McCarthy, Jabu Mahlangu, Pollen Ndlanya, Thabang Molefe, Linda Buthelezi, Mark Williams, Eric September are among the legends who will assist in nurturing the talent of aspirant stars.
The academy will be facilitating and coordinating life skills, capacity building for coaches, administrators and technical officials, competition opportunities and other logistical support.
North West MEC for sport Hlomane Chauke said the academy was an important contribution to building high-performance soccer stars in the province.
He said they were committed to building the province as a home of competitive sport and have identified soccer as one of the priority sporting codes to support.
Launching the academy on Sunday, department of sports, arts and culture head Desiree Tlhoaele said the academy would enable all young people to work together and participate in sports.
She said the intention was to encourage affluent schools engaged in elite and high-performance sport to join hands with less privileged schools to share their expertise.
"There is so much talent going to waste out there. The Phil Masinga Sports Academy is a unique association of the greatest living sporting legends who share a belief in the power of sport to break down barriers, bring people together and to improve the lives of the young people of the province," she said.
"It will encourage learners to train and practise harder as they seek to emulate their heroes."