Ajax Cape Town and African Impact partnered to offer the youth of Redhill a youth development opportunity to learn life skills and nutritional advice and gave the children of Redhill a thrilling afternoon of soccer with Ajax Cape Town community coaches.
African Impact, a volunteer organisation, works extensively in the Redhill community with two unregistered crèches – Children of Hope and Redhill preschool. African Impact supports the crèches financially as well as by providing group support via nutritional feeding programs and volunteers.
Ajax Cape Town were so taken with the community and the talent hidden away there that they are going to be continue training some of the residents. They will also be holding a Christmas Lunch party on the 14th December, supplying football boots and soccer tops to children of the Redhill community.
Kate Petit of African Impact
Bart van Dam, a 53 year old volunteer from Holland, has been working within Africa Impact’s projects for 4 weeks. On the teaching placement, he has become extremely involved in preschools in Masiphumelele and Red Hill. Bart wrote the following account of the afternoon.
Trainers from Ajax Cape Town came on to the hill on the peninsula to train and scout on pupils of Red Hill.
This is the biggest soccer excitement on this windy hill since the World Championships last year.
Thursday, 3.p.m. the excitement at Red Hill pre-school is great, when African Impact volunteers appear. There is an atmosphere of great expectations between pupils and teachers. MTN flags blow in the wind all over the place. Three Ajax trainers are waiting for the pupils from primary school to come.
A dog is the first to grab a ball. This ball must be considered lost for ever because this friendly beast doesn’t give up anything.
Mothers, brothers and sisters are waiting in anticipation of what’s up to come. The Ajax trainer lays out a ladder flat on the sandy ground. He runs and jumps on and between the ropes and steps. The kids are to follow in two lines. Again and again the trainer demonstrates new exercises. Some of the kids do well, some have practice some more.
The audience surrounds the small square. A few higher trees throw some shade down. A volunteer keeps the dog busy with an empty bottle.
Next are some exercises with a real soccer ball. Though at short distance these exercises are quite difficult. The older boys listen in the meantime to another trainer who’s talking about sports and the body. When you want your body to work for you, you must exercise the body and feed it well; not much, but right with the good stuff. We think mothers should have been at this training as well. After these wise lessons the older boys do exactly the same exercises and do their best. Being a bit older, and wiser now, their enthusiasm is great, but not as loud as that of their younger brothers and sisters. At the end of this soccer clinic all kids get a poster of Ajax Cape Town as a present. We are sure they will cherish this icon for ever in their hearts.
Fortunately more people and institutions get interested to help these children, and parents, a bit. Ajax Cape Town for instance. Tomorrow the Navy will visit Red Hill.
Ajax and the Navy: Not the least to call your friends!