Founder and Chairperson of the Motsepe Foundation, Dr Patrice Motsepe, accompanied by his wife, the CEO and co-founder of the Foundation, Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, have announced a R150m sponsorship for schools football for boys and girls, schools netball as well as for schools choral African and indigenous music.
The announcement is a massive increment to the R70m the foundation donated when the partnership started in 2016, which has helped identify some of the best PSL and Bafana Bafana players, through the Kay Motsepe Schools Football Cup (launched 18 years ago).
“The Kay Motsepe Schools Cup has been and will continue to focus on High School Boys football, with almost thousands of schools competing to be amongst the final 18 that end up at the National play-off style finals and be crowned the best footballing school in the Country,” said the Foundation in a statement.
Present at the ground-breaking announcement was the Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, Premier of Gauteng, Panyaza Lesufi, President of the South African Football Association (SAFA), Dr Danny Jordaan and the President of Netball South Africa, Cecilia Molokwane.
The event was held at the Sandton Convention Centre, where five SABC Radio Stations joined the proceedings by broadcasting from the venue, namely, Ukhozi FM, Umhlobo We Nene, Thobela FM, Motsweding FM and Lesedi FM.
There will now be a Primary Schools National football competition for Boys, a High School National football competition for Girls, a Primary Schools National football competition for Girls. These three new initiatives will have unprecedented value to the Men’s and Women’s National teams in the long run, introducing organized participation across both boys and girls at such an early and critical age.
Added to this, the Motsepe Foundation also announced the renewal of the High Schools Netball sponsorship – the Kay Motsepe Schools National Netball tournament. As well, the renewal of the Eisteddfod Schools Choral and a Choir music National tournament, finding the best choral and choir schools in our country. The music competition is aimed at ensuring that those children/learners who cannot participate in physical sporting activity for whatever reasons also have an extra mural initiative.
“We have the capacity to do great things, what we are trying to do as a Foundation is to give hope and opportunities to those marginalised, and those not included which makes today’s event very important. Today’s event is very important. As a nation, we have overcome bigger challenges in the past when we work together. I believe excellence in sport and music goes hand in hand with academic performance,” said Dr Motsepe.
“We are what we are because of the people of South Africa and we are giving back it also gives us a joy we cannot describe. To whom much is given, much will be required. The plan and strategy is to make South African and African football among the best – and it all starts in the school, it has to be intentional for it to work.”
The programme will work with the help of schools, and Minister Motshekga was elated that the plan is continuing.
“The partnership between us and the Motsepe Foundation is part of our broader strategy for building social cohesion. Sports and music are very critical activities. This programme unearth our gems and opens a world of possibilities. The exciting thing about all of this is that sport and music come naturally to our children, we just need to structure everything and train them. And I would also like to reiterate that more often than not, success achieved in sport is often repeated in academics, so sport and education go hand in hand because I always say ‘education is not for life, but education is life itself,” said Minister Motshekga.
The Premier of Gauteng was equally excited about the venture, and said it fell directly in line with the Province’s vision.
“This is a huge investment that will ensure we nurture our own Lionel Messi’s. As a former leader in the Education sector, I am a firm believer that if it can’t start in the classroom it will not be appreciated; if it doesn’t start in the classroom it will not yield positive results; if it does not start in the classroom it will not excite us; if we have to promote social cohesion it has to start in the school premises. If we have to promote human capital it has to start in the classroom, and if we also have to promote sports, it has to start in the classroom,” sad the Premier.
“Sports is our new gold in this particular province. The provincial government that I lead has identified sports as the new gold that needs to be protected and promoted, and we are putting all our resources into achieving that. And this investment falls nicely within our vision. To have the schools tournament play in Gauteng is a firm commitment that indeed we are on the right track. And we want to use sports to fight wrong things in our society, in particular drugs. We want to use sports as a tool to say to young people that without drugs you can still succeed in life and those trapped there must know they have a second chance and sports plays a crucial role in dealing with that. What excites us is that you are not only concentrating on the boy child but also the girl child, both at primary school and high school level. But in my State of the Province address we said we are starting sports at ECD level – every Wednesday they know they must kick that ball.”
The announcement of the girls competition has also made the South African Football Association (SAFA) happy as they are on a mission to get one million girls to be playing football by 2030, and they are now standing a just under 600-thousand. In addition, it is in line with SAFA’s bid to host the 2027 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
“FIFA has mooted an international schools competition and a schools World Cup, so you can see the impact of the Motsepe Foundation, reshaping the core part of not just South African football, African football but also global football in schools sports. COSAFA had a schools competition to determine the best African schools in Southern Africa, who are the winners? Clapham High School (South Africa), who are the girls champions? Imbewu (KZN). Those schools are the Southern African champions, and they will play in the Pan African finals and I believe they are strong enough to become the first African Schools champions and this is because South Africa got a head start in this matter,” said Dr Jordaan.
“The second thing that is important is that girls schools sports – we want to two things, to make bid for 2027 Women’s World Cup, and we want one million girls by 2030, but where will they come from? Schools of course. And that is why this particular announcement fits into us achieving the target of one million footballers by 2030. We are delighted at what has already been achieved and the African continent celebrates the fact that CAF and Africa has a schools sport competition. I was happy at how you moved CAF to focus on schools sport but now you also move FIFA and today we see the commitment and the evident of not just rhetoric but financial commitment and R150m is a huge commitment over five years – it talks about vision.”
South Africa will host the 2023 Netball World Cup in July, and although the funds donated by the Motsepe Foundation may not be used for that competition, it will help nurture future stars that will represent this country from school level up.
“Netball is second biggest after football, but doesn’t receive the recognition it deserves and so much has changed because we said our core business should be the player, change the life of the player. And things improved when we embarked on that process and we even contracted 24 players for the first time ever. We have a saying that goes, ‘a child on court, is a child off the court of law’ and we try and live that,” said Molokwane.
The sponsorship will be allocated over five years at R30m a year and will be distributed in the following manner:
R12m to the Kay Motsepe Schools Football Cup for boys and girls at secondary and primary schools
the winning secondary school will receive R3m – which must be used for the construction or upgrading of football, education and other sports infrastructure and facilities;
R8m for the new schools football competition for girls at secondary and primary school level and for a new primary school competition for boys;
R6m for the ABC Motsepe Schools Choral Eisteddfod; and
the Kay Motsepe Schools Netball Cup will receive R4m.
This article was first published by centrecircle.online’s Matlhomola Morake, relayed by kick442.com as an official media partner