Club teaches players more than just soccer skills

A Westridge-based soccer club deregistered from their Mitchell’s Plain football league to groom players into being all rounded citizens.

Aerial Football Club looks after their environment.

They are engaging members in social responsibility programmes in various parts of Mitchell’s Plain, including parents, new members and neighbours to the field or park they have activities at, instead of regular soccer practise sessions and matches, every other week.

Soccer players collect dirt along the coast.

They had a beach clean-up at Sonwabe parking lot, in between Strandfontein and Muizenberg beaches, and involved the City of Cape Town’s Disaster Risk Management crew, law enforcement officers, council safety and security representatives, Chrysalis Academy youth hub ambassador supervisor John Michel and Elton Jansen, Sub-council 23 chairman and Strandfontein ward councillor, on Saturday May 22.

Keegan Arries, 7, from Lentegeur, Tracey-Lee Wilkinson, from Woodridge, and Michael Baron, 6, from Eastridge.

Club parent Pamela George, from Portland, said soccer was a vehicle to engage the youth in social responsibility programmes.

Guests were screened and sanitised their hands.

She said this year they decided to look at environmental issues.

“We would like to revive soccer among our youth in our communities,” she said.

Soccer players get to explore Disaster Risk Management services.

The club also wants to provide an opportunity to soccer players to enhance and further their soccer careers; teach youth valuable life skills, including HIV and Aids awareness, substance abuse prevention, career guidance, educational assistance and particularly encourage them to complete their school careers.

Youth count how many bags of litter they collected along the coast.

“We want to foster discipline and respect among our youth. Keep them away from gangsterism; and provide a safe place for the youth to enjoy extracurricular activities,” she said.

Ms George said they would like to host team-building sessions, community social projects to help members feel part of a family.

They want to provide quality football and leadership skills.

“Teaching the younger generation not just soccer but environmental and social issues,” she said.

Club chaplin Trevor Alexander said with the uncertainty of Covid-19 regulations for sport they decided to engage with players differently.

“We have committed our club to assist in the development and upliftment of our youth and soccer standards,” he said.

For more information on the club and participate in their programmes, call secretary Tracey-Lee Wilkinson on 071 605 0713.