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Dreamfields Project bearing fruits
The seeds of soccer dreams planted by the Dreamfields Project are starting to bear beautiful fruit. Last September, a DreamEvent was staged in the Mpumalanga village of Hluvukani close to the Kruger National Park, and the girls of Matikinya Primary (below) walked away with the trophy. They then represented Orpen Gate in the Wild About Soccer finals at Skukuza and once again emerged winners. But this was just the start …
“The Wild About Soccer tournaments taught them big match temperament,” says Ralph Mdluli, sports coordinator for the Manyeleti circuit. “They learned so much playing in front of bigger crowds, with the media there. They learned to play with intensity.”
The next dream in sight for the Matikinya stars was the Schools Confed Cup tournament. First, they beat all their local rivals to qualify for the regional finals in Thulamahashe. “All the time they were wearing their Dreamfields kit with pride,” says Mdluli, and they qualified for the provincial finals in Ermelo.”
This was a stiff challenge, but nothing stops young people when their dreams are in sight, and from the 13th – 15th May Matikinya will take part in the national finals, representing the province of Mpumalanga.
And Dreamfields is making sure that the dreams get spread around. The field in Hluvukani where the tournament was held is being upgraded with a R250 000 contribution from the Old Mutual Foundation, and they're spreading DreamBags to other schools in the area.
This is an area full of football riches. The boys’ winners of our DreamEvent, Mahlekisana, also triumphed in Skukuza and reached the Mpumalanga regional finals. Sundowns star Michael Manzini grew up in the area – who knows what other soccer diamonds are waiting to be dug up?