Soccer grans big hit with world media

RARE BREED: Vakhegula Vakhegula, the soccer-playing grannies from Tzaneen, training for next month's trip to Massachusetts in the US. They have captured the imagination of the world but need funding. Pic. ELIJAR MUSHIANA. 26/05/2010. © Sowetan.

26 MAY 2010 WEDNESDAY:
GO USA: Limpopo soccer playing grannies, Vakhegula-vakhegula from Tzaneen are training in preparation for their trip to  USA in July. They are still struggling to raise funds for a flight, accomodation and food, They raised R100 000 and the balance is R400 000. PHOTO: ELIJAR MUSHIANA
RARE BREED: Vakhegula Vakhegula, the soccer-playing grannies from Tzaneen, training for next month's trip to Massachusetts in the US. They have captured the imagination of the world but need funding. Pic. ELIJAR MUSHIANA. 26/05/2010. © Sowetan. 26 MAY 2010 WEDNESDAY: GO USA: Limpopo soccer playing grannies, Vakhegula-vakhegula from Tzaneen are training in preparation for their trip to USA in July. They are still struggling to raise funds for a flight, accomodation and food, They raised R100 000 and the balance is R400 000. PHOTO: ELIJAR MUSHIANA

THE skills of Limpopo's soccer-playing grannies, Vakhegula Vakhegula, continued to attract the international media to NkowaNkowa Stadium at the weekend.

THE skills of Limpopo's soccer-playing grannies, Vakhegula Vakhegula, continued to attract the international media to NkowaNkowa Stadium at the weekend.

Documentaries by journalists from China, Italy and Germany in February have captured the world's imagination. The talented grannies are hard at training for the Veterans Cup, scheduled for Massachusetts in the US from July 10 to 20.

Beka Ntsanwisi, Vakhegula's founder and coordinator, confirmed yesterday that journalists from Scotland and England were present at their recent matches in NkowaNkowa.

"On Thursday we will be with French journalists, who are also interested in capturing the grannies' skills.

"We are very happy that Vakhegula will be seen throughout the world," Ntsanwisi said.

"In terms of our preparations for the dream trip to the US, everything is going fine and we are now awaiting confirmation of flight tickets in order for us to apply for visas. We are still calling on businesspeople to assist us to secure tickets for the remaining 10 grannies who might miss out on the trip because of lack of funds," she said.

England television journalist Emma Slifkin said: "We read about the grannies online and took advantage of being in the country for the World Cup to record them.

"On Saturday we did not have enough time to cover everything but we will be back. They are unique players and I think we should expose them to the world. They are a rare breed."

French national coordinator in South Africa Christine Cayre said they will visit the grannies in NkowaNkowa on Thursday before their match against Mexico at Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.

"I will be with French journalists Marc Dana and Robin Tebul to do Vakhegula's documentary. I have read about these grannies and developed much interest in them, hence I have persuaded the French journalists to do a documentary about these special players," she said.

Vakhegula comprise an array of gifted players who include deadly forward Norah "Teenage" Makhubele, midfielder Angelina "General" Hlophe and goalkeeper Mamaela "Spider" Chauke.

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