A group of local soccer coaches and soccer enthusiasts under Hout Bay Leopards (HBL) and Project Soccer Hout Bay (PSHB), have joined hands to celebrate Hout Bay’s soccer heritage by hosting a Heritage Day tournament for children between 8 and 16 years old on Saturday September 23 on the Hangberg sports field.
Ricardo Phillips, HBL director, explains that the “aim is to highlight soccer heritage in Hout Bay, those men and women who started soccer in Hout Bay, players who have excelled and clubs that were in Hout Bay and those still in existence”.
The junior soccer teams participating in the tournament will be bearing the names of those clubs – were Bayview Rovers, Bonny Boys, Eagle Stars, Hout Bay United Football Club, Young Stars, Atlantic Saints, Samrock, Lion’s Spurs, Harbour Lights and Glendovers FC.
“As a youth developer, it’s a joy for me to be part of the heritage tournament,” says Phillips. “The idea behind the tournament is to bring youths together from different backgrounds to celebrate the true custodians of football in Hout Bay, real icons in football. The people who inspired me to do what I’m doing today. I grew up in sports and my dream goal was to break the curse for football and footballers to excel beyond their wildest dreams.”
The tournament will consist of teams with 5 players and 2 reserve players in each team and would be boys and girls, mix teams. Age groups would be under-8 to under-10, under-12, under-14, and under-16.
It will be open for all youngsters from Hout Bay. Winning teams and runners-up will receive trophies and medals.
Timothy Jacobs, PSHB member, says: “The tournament is to celebrate the soccer heritage of Hangberg and so building a stronger and developed soccer Hout Bay community. Going forward, a local soccer type hall of fame would be investigated honouring the founding men and women of soccer in Hangberg and other areas in Hout Bay. Each year we’re planning to have a gala event honouring our soccer men and women of the past, our own green-blazer event.”
The community can email the names of the men and women of Hout Bay soccer of the past who deserves that recognition. The junior soccer tournament is the launch for the bigger event for September 2024 and years to follow.
Nicholas Ndaba, HBL coach, said heritage is about giving recognition. “I feel the Hangberg Football Heritage is the best idea to commemorate the football legends and clubs in Hout Bay. Hence it is also the best way to revive the history of football in Hout Bay and appreciate those who soldiered on in its revolution. If we were to put it in words, it would be too complex for the children of today to grasp, hence we involve them to take part and celebrate yesteryear’s footballers as a means to encourage them to respect the sport and take pride in it. In other words, we’re passing on the torch, Aluta Continua.”
Phillips says they hope to get some support from locals in the form of a medical team for the day and an ambulance on standby, as well as refreshments, and so on.
Parents who want to enter their kids in the tournament or people interested to donate or assist, can contact Hout Bay Leopards and Project Soccer Hout Bay on email at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org Alternatively, call 073 975 7533 or 061 176 2938.