Investing in youth of Hangberg

A group of Barclays Premier League soccer supporters in Hout Bay want to make a change in the lives of young people.

It all started as a discussion on a soccer supporters’ chat group and now it has grown into a group that is showing the children and youth of Hangberg the innumerable opportunities that exist beyond their community.

“It all started as a discussion on a Barclays Premier League (BPL) Hout Bay Harbour WhatsApp group,” says Pieter de Wee. “A group of soccer enthusiasts wanted to make a change in the lives of children and youth in the Harbour community.”

David le Roux and Timothy Jacobs had an informal discussion about how they can get a group of BPL soccer followers together and do something. David suggested a WhatsApp chat group and Timothy created the group. Twenty local Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur supporters who were friends as youngsters ended up on the group.

The group elected a local executive committee consisting of Pieter de Wee, René Guenantin, Graham Opperman, Norman Gallant and Timothy Jacobs.

“They decided the Harbour children and youth should know that opportunities are big beyond the boundaries of Hangberg, Hout Bay, Cape Town, the Western Cape and South Africa. Our kids should know that the rest of the world is also a place for them to succeed in life,” says Graham.

The group has big plans and will look at fund-raising and sponsorships to have children and youth outreach programmes. It includes a weekly soup kitchen, an annual youth soccer tournament for boys and girls, taking the young ones to local Premier Soccer League matches at Cape Town Stadium and having regular soccer clinics with prominent current and retired players.

Pieter says the sports events would not only include soccer but also clinics of other sport codes such as table tennis, rugby and they’re hoping that players of the Stormers will support them. “Children in sports will be children out of court. Our kids would be taken on field trips, hiking trips, and so on.

“Our children must be self-believers and must know there is hope,” says René.

“We want to tell them look at our local soccer heroes and heroines Kaylin Jordaan, Serenity Warner, Duncan Adonis and Shaquille Abrahams,”adds Graham. The youth also need to be exposed to local professionals and achievers from the Hangberg community such as judge Elizabeth Baartman, journalist Liam del Carme, surveyor Charles Witbooi, town planner Wally Johnson, doctor Raymond Daniels, businessmen Gerald Cloete and Garth Abrahams, engineer Clement Johnson and the many others there are as well.

Edwin du Preez, a group member who runs his own small design and printing business, was instrumental in getting T-shirts for the groups.

Group members will wear the T-shirts at outreach events and sporting events. “The group also has a dream to go and watch a Manchester United and Liverpool football match in England, something we are working on in the near future and will raise funds to assist group members who can’t afford the whole amount for the trip, ” says Norman.

The group say they are not there to duplicate what others are doing. They are open to partner with those who believe in what they are doing and have no intention to play the game of “being better than anyone.” They say they are just trying to tell the kids from the Harbour area that they are exceptional.

For more information on the group, contact Pieter at 083 373 6535, Graham at 062 768 7315, René at 083 298 5116 or Norman at 073 2196 786.