Training centre for Pimville

A STATE-OF-THE-ART centre that will provide elite training and coaching, combined with HIV/Aids awareness and testing, was this week officially opened at the former Hyundai Park in Pimville, Soweto.

A STATE-OF-THE-ART centre that will provide elite training and coaching, combined with HIV/Aids awareness and testing, was this week officially opened at the former Hyundai Park in Pimville, Soweto.

Now called the Nike Football Training Centre, the facility was opened by Johannesburg mayor Amos Masondo, Nike chief executive Mark Parker and Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi.

"The centre will give 20000 young footballers a year the chance to develop their talent while also having access to HIV/Aids education through the football life skills programme," Masondo said.

"The centre will create a lasting legacy for the Soweto community and inspire the next generation of footballers by delivering premium football clinics combined with life-skills programmes to give young people the knowledge they need to live free from HIV."

The centre is part of Nike's commitment to the communities of South Africa that dates back 15 years, according to Parker.

Twenty-six community-based football programmes across 16 African countries will share $450000 (R3,5million) in grants to further their programming to educate youth on HIV/Aids prevention through sport. Three of the recipients are South African, Parker said.

Among those who attended the event on Tuesday included Brazilian superstar Alexandre Pato and former Bafana Bafana striker Shaun Bartlett, who were both full of praise for the training centre.

Bartlett said "the power that this training programme will have for future footballers can't be underestimated".

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