A Hangberg resident decided to take matters into his own hands when he started a community Sunday league to bring the Hangberg community back together.
Ricardo Phillips is a well known figure in Hangberg, having lived all his life in the fishing community, and being involved with sports from the age of 7 with his dazzling soccer skills.
He even earned his semi-pro stripes and then in 2006, decided to pass on the skill to future footballers, having taken a keen interest in coaching. From 2012 onwards, Mr Phillips got involved with trying to establish several community projects to uplift Hangberg.
“I am very passionate about the community and about football itself. I believe that sports is a tool that brings people together. It’s a tool that can also break chains and barriers. Sport unites people,” he told Sentinel News.
Mr Philips said he started the Sunday league in Hangberg to “bring peace” and build relationships within the community. It currently has 10 teams competing.
“In this community, we have players playing for many different clubs and league structures. So we decided to start this social Sunday league to bring players together,” Mr Phillips explained.
At the same time, he added, the community Sunday league ensured that there was activity on the Hangberg Sports Complex astroturf, a facility which had been plagued by vandalism and theft.
“It’s all about working hand-in-hand with the City, trying to build relationships in our community, while following the necessary protocols,” Mr Phillips said.
“We need this right now.”
The Hangberg Sports Facility has had its fencing, lights, parts of astroturf, goal posts, dug outs and more stolen over time, leading to it’s dilapidated appearance, (“Sports facility takes a beating”, Sentinel News, November 22, 2019).
“As a community itself, we face many negative things such as gangsterism, drug abusers, shooting which led to lots of young people dying. Many of these youngsters we are attracting are from these gangs and by bringing them to the field, we showing them that a youth involved with sport is another that stays out of court,” Mr Phillips said.
Tyler Eberson from Hout Bay, who plays for one of the local teams, described the atmosphere as “electric” on Sunday when games were being played at the facility.
“There are guys playing there that are from very high up, very good local players. It’s really nice to see the people coming out to support such local soccer and it really does bring a community together,” he said.
To get involved, contact Ricardo on 073 975 7533 or email email@example.com