Soccer is the most popular sport in the world and a big deal in South Africa. My guess is, that it is because you can easily play it. All that is needed is a ball, but other things work as well. Masiphumelele kids use their imaginations. On the streets, even a tennis ball works. 

Soccer and team sports in general, impact a kid’s personality and identity for a lifetime. Team sports teach us lessons such as dealing with the feeling of defeat. Soccer also teaches us how to act as individuals within 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 to take responsibility and show courage for yourself and the team. 

In Masiphumelele (translated from IsiXhosa it means “Let us 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 Masiphumelele. When we have the opportunity we play friendly games in nearby communities. To progress in sports, facing new challenges is necessary. All the amateur teams who compete with Young Stars FC, are affiliated with Two Oceans LFA – SAFA Cape Town. In the pictures above, CTYD played a tournament in the community of Fish Hoek. 

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 20 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 on 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, surfing, and other activities. 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 encouraging the children of Masiphumelele to new heights every day.”

Justin plays a vital role and is one of the key members of Coach Thomas Youth Development.