Soccer is the most popular sport in the world. My guess is, that it is because you can easily play it. I mean you only need something you can kick, a ball in the best case, but other things do it as well: You just need to free your imagination. It might also be this popular because it unites the people and offers them an opportunity to compete with each other.

Soccer and teamsports in general form our personality and identity for a lifetime. Teamsports teaches us lessons like how to handle losing a match, dealing with the feeling of being defeated. Soccer also teaches us how to act as a single part of a team. There is no soccer player in the world who can beat a whole team on their own. You always need friends and fellows in life, as you need them during the match. Another point you must learn is taking over responsibility and showing courage for yourself and the team. 

In Masiphumelele (translated from IsiXhosa it means “Let’s succeed”), our community, we have one field we use for matches on the weekends. It’s called Makhaya ngokhu which means “homes of now”. Because transport is expensive for a whole team, we at CTYD usually play against other teams from Masi, that’s how we call Masiphumelele. But for making progress in sport, facing new challenges is unavoidable. As you can see in the pictures above, CTYD played a tournament in the community of Fish Hoek and competed with teams from nearby communities. 

As in every sport, you need at least a little bit of equipment. Funders for Coach Thomas Youth Development are still rare. But in 2021 former volunteer Jul Lührs from Germany managed to win the support of his local soccer club the TSG Kirchberg. They were so kind to gift some of their own jerseys, which the boys wore proudly. 

One more story needs to be told: 

“Hi, my name is Justin Bailey. I am 18 years old and I live in a small Township called Masiphumelele. I fell in love with soccer at the age of 5. I played for Coach Thomas Youth Development until I turned 15. It was at that age that I discovered that I no longer felt comfortable inside the field. I rather wanted to be on the sidelines next to the coach.

In my eyes, Coach Thomas Youth Development will represent the good work and progress we do in soccer and surfing. In the future, I want to see CTYD being out there, not only in our community but in our city and across the country. For us to achieve this we are pushing the boys and girls to new heights every day.”

Justin is my biggest supporter not only next to the field as he says but also mentally!