Using sport to better society

Winners of the junior category of the Heritage for Peace Tournament, Impala junior seven-a-side soccer team members Archilles van Diel, Ayanda Bosisi, Yaseen Petersen, Uzair Hajwanie, Abdul-Kareem Arend, Isma-eel Jacobs, Waylon Jacobs and Ethan September. In front is Nur Adams.

Sixteen Mitchell’s Plain seven-a-side soccer teams took part in the inaugural Heritage for Peace Tournament hosted by Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative peace ambassador Joseph Jacobs, last month.

About three months ago, he helped a few youth, called the Cape Flats 7s, start clearing a dumping site bordered by Swartklip Road, Maralize Crescent and Morgenster Road, in Beacon Valley.

At the time, they did not have funds for a ball and goal posts, but Mr Jacobs, 20, from Beacon Valley, encouraged them to persevere and would spend from his stipend to buy them something to eat.

He is an intern at Signatura Property Development, which he roped in to help sponsor the tournament. With the support of his father, Duwayne Jacobs, Joseph garnered the help of local businesses, who made the goal posts.

Mr Jacobs also had a petition drawn up to ensure the community supports their initiative to keep youth off the streets and encourage them to live better lives.

The initiative, founded by American actor and social activist Forest Whitaker, was launched in Bridgetown, in August last year, after having been established in America, Mexico, South Sudan and Uganda.

Mr Whitaker visited the Athlone site and also spoke to pupils at Cedar High School of the Arts, in Rocklands in November. Mr Jacobs said with the help of the initiative he is able to teach youth skills to help build a better society.

“I would like to teach them about peace through sport,” he said.

He hopes to have the league registered with the South African Football Association.