THE NMMU sports department have come to the rescue of Phakamisa High School by donating soccer jerseys and equipment worth more than R30000. The handover ceremony was held at the school in Zwide last week.
NMMU soccer manager Mark Tommy said the university decided to “adopt” Phakamisa High as a strategy to give back to the community.
Soccer was a means to include the school in the university’s sporting network.
“We will work closely with the school to develop their under-15 and under-17 soccer teams,” Tommy said.
“We will then graduate them to the NMMU junior soccer teams and they will get an opportunity to play for our higher football structures.”
Tommy said deserving players at the school would be awarded bursaries to study at NMMU once they had matriculated.
The university wanted to expand the project to other areas of Nelson Mandela Bay but would first evaluate the outcome of the Phakamisa initiative.
“Our mission and vision is to strengthen relationships with our communities and to instill the culture of learning,” he said. “This initiative can only be achieved by supporting youth in their [chosen] sport, which is soccer.”
School principal Lungile Notshe said they were excited to receive the soccer kit.
“We are grateful to our new partners for not only promoting [learning] but also helping to develop disadvantaged communities through sport.
“It’s a boost for our school’s teams because the boys were struggling with football gear.”
South Africa Schools Football Association NMB secretary Dumza Thyse said the pupils should make use of the opportunity by studying hard and playing soccer.
“NMMU has a partnership with Safa provincial second division side Bay Stars, and it’s their [pupils’] chance to take their football careers further, but also … to keep studying so that they can have another career to fall back on when their football careers are over.”