Soccer clinic scores rare Africa Unity kit

GLOBAL sports brand Puma has donated R250000 worth of its Africa Unity kit to a soccer clinic that was founded by a policeman to serve children from informal settlements in Johannesburg.

Constable Olebogeng Ntaolang of the Honeydew police station northwest of Johannesburg established the soccer clinic to combat teenage delinquency in the community. He was delighted to receive the donation, which included Africa Unity shirts as well as boots, socks, shorts, goalkeeper gloves and soccer balls.

"It is fantastic to be able to support the programme which Constable Ntaolang has put in place with the youngsters of Cosmos City and surrounding areas," said the company's marketing director, Brett Bellinger.

Ntaolang started the soccer clinic with little more than his enthusiasm and commitment, and quickly attracted more than 100 boys.

They train twice a week at the Nooitgedacht 88 Primary School and play as the Ikage (build yourself) team in the Rand Central League.

Bellinger said the Africa Unity kit was sanctioned by Fifa as the official third kit of Puma-sponsored African teams including continental champions Egypt and World Cup qualifiers Ghana, Ivory Coast, Cameroon and Algeria.

"In fact, the kit we have donated is the actual playing kit that these teams would have worn had they been required to use the third kit during the World Cup," he said.

The kit features an Africa Unity badge depicting two hands locked in a handshake, and the brown colour on the shirt was created by mixing African soil samples. A percentage of the profits from the sales of the kit and related products support Puma's Play for Life campaign to fund wildlife and habitat conservation in Africa.