The Diepsloot Safe-Hub launched their new 2019 season with Kick-off Week for over 1,000 excited youngsters aged between five and 16, with the aim of building enthusiasm and participation in the AMANDLA EduFootball programme, and developing relationships with their coaches and each other.
Thato Molefe, Diepsloot Safe-Hub Facility Manager, says the key to ensuring that participants remain in the programme throughout the year is positive player and coach relationships. “Kick-off Week goes a long way to building and strengthening those relationships while ensuring that both the PlayMakers – the young intern coaches – and the participants learn and understand the rules of FairPlay Football Leagues, the AMANDLA Way, and the Player Promise, both from the Safe-Hub to the players and vice versa, while also having a tremendous amount of fun.”
The ‘AMANDLA WAY’ incorporates teamwork, healthy lifestyle, ambition, excellence, a chance to learn, and integrity, and ultimately has the potential to result in active youth with positive attitudes and a good quality of life, and the Player Promise covers behaviour expectations, values, respect and treatment of others as equals.
Molefe adds that the participants response was “great” throughout the week. “They have come back in their numbers and we are close to reaching our target number of 1,400 for 2019.”
Each year, the Safe-Hub team runs a special campaign to recruit children from schools in their catchment area, which increases awareness of the programme offering for different age groups, and has ensured successful retention of children.
The Diepsloot Safe-Hub programme has been operating at Muzomuhle Primary School in Diepsloot since February 2016 and is delivered by AMANDLA EduFootball through funding partnership with Montecasino, giving youngsters from grades R to matric regular access to a safe environment for facilitated sports, arts, lifeskills lessons, personal development, accredited training courses, and the opportunity for a better future.
The PlayMakers, who are the frontline coaching staff at the Safe-Hub responsible for delivering the Safe-Hub programming to the various age groups at the facility, are all from Diepsloot, and are committed to changing their communities and to being positive role models to children and youth.
Participation at Diepsloot Safe-Hub is growing, from 930 in 2016 to a targeted 1,400 in 2019 by the time registration closes at end March, reflecting a 34% increase over last year. The programme stages include Get In The Game for U6/U8/U10, which is showing a projected 82% increase this year against last year; Go For It for U12/U14/U16, for 760 players; and Make Your Play for about 240 over 17-year-olds.
Mike Page, Operations Director and Complex GM of Montecasino, says, “We are constantly impressed by the impact the Safe-Hub programme is having on the Diepsloot community – and we are proud to be a part of it. The Safe-Hub has built a relationship with the community that is founded on communication, trust and understanding, and consistent engagement with the parents of the participants. Positive change is evident in the lives of many of the children who are in the programme, and we look forward to seeing them achieve bright futures.”