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2009 Wild About Soccer programme kicks off at Golden Gate

10 June 2009

The 2009 programme of Wild About Soccer– a partnership between SANParks and the Dreamfields Project – got underway on Saturday June 6th with a tournament at the Golden Gate Highlands National Park. Four primary schools from the surrounding communities were invited to participate: Motshephwa, Teboho, Bodikela and Lebohang Primary.

Each of the teams received a DreamBag soccer kit – 15 sets of shirts, shorts and socks; boots, shin pads and balls. So far 36 schools have benefited from the project. But Wild About Soccer is not just about football. Launched in 2008, the programme is aimed at using this sport that our children love to get them interested in their neighbouring national park and in conservation.

And so the 60 children and their teachers arrived on the Friday and were taken through an exciting educational programme by the SANParks team, including a game drive and even some canoeing. Their excitement continued after dinner with singing and dancing around the camp fire.

Kids from Teboho Primary

The morning started off bitterly cold but the eager little soccer stars couldn’t wait to get to the field. The teams played amazing football against a beautiful background, with gorgeous high mountains surrounding the soccer field.

The teams received their DreamBags, changed quickly and their competitive spirit kicked in. One player who stood out was Teboho Moloi from Teboho Primary in Makwane. This12-year-old was responsible for motivating the players before and during matches and lead the team in their warm–up sessions.

Even though Teboho Primary lost in the final to Bodikela , Moloi won player of the tournament. “I am very proud of winning and happy and also my parents are happy for me today."

His teammate, Kebone Sera, was excited about the Wild About Soccer DreamEvent, but also about the upcoming Fifa World Cup. ” This cup gives us kids an opportunity to play soccer. I love soccer with all of my heart..”

The day ended with a medals and trophy ceremony and with 60 children having had the time of their lives. The next Wild About Soccer DreamEvent will be held at Marakele on June 26th.