Two Modderham High Pupils, Tahswin Nicholson and Shaun Jaars, have been selected to play for Western Cape Select football teams, but they were almost unable to attend trials....
The team will participate in the Goodwill Games tournament in Paarl from Sunday to Wednesday, and although these two boys are going, many like them may not be able to participate, simply because their parents are unable to afford to send them.
SASoccer365.com spoke to the boys' coach, Shaun Sardien, about their lack of finances to attend the tournament.
"This is not the first time it's happening, Western Province (WP) football do not sponsor the track suits, food or accommodation for the tournament. The boys have to raise funds themselves to attend this tournament which they so much want to do," a concerned Mr Sardien said.
The boys need R900 each that will cover their accommodation, meals and a track suit, but coming from Bontehuewel, a crime ridden area, it's easier said than done.
"Tashwin lives with his grandmother, who is a pensioner, and Shaun's mom is a single parent. They cannot just give their kids the money as they don't have it at their disposal, but we've raised some money and they are going to Paarl on Sunday."
Keith Villet, the secretary of United School Sports Association of South Africa (USSASSA) and WP football, enlightened us on the shortage of funds for football prospects.
"We do not receive funds from the Provincial government or the National government for soccer, well the little we get is obviously not enough. This is the reason the boys are having to pay for their track suits, food and accommodation while on tour.
"It is their choice whether they want track suits or not, but you know they obviously want it as it shows who and what they represent," a disconcerted Villet said.
The tournament has been running for nine years and the venue changes every year, from Kimberley to Cape Town and now Paarl, with four teams participating annually.
"The teams are Northern Cape Province, the Western Cape, Boland and South West Districts. From these four a Western Province team is selected who will play in the South African Championships in Bloemfontein next year."
The Western Cape team will be presented with their blazers and track suits, often referred to as 'colours', on Friday night at Bellville South High at 6pm.