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Heart Squad does it in less than a year

In less than a year, Heart Squad - Heart 104.9FM's soccer development programme - has evolved from once-weekly soccer clinics, to a full-on youth structure, competing in the Cape Town Tygerburg District against well-established soccer clubs - and winning! This has been no small achievement for the kids and coaches who come from diverse economic backgrounds throughout Cape Town.
Back Row L-R: Khaya Botha, Ghaalib Avontuur, Ivan Daniels, Nathan Du Plessis (Coach), Mogamat Fredericks, Sadley Martin (Assistant Coach), Lionel Cloete, Hilton Kuhn, Gladwin Lambrechts. Front Row L-R: Shane Maarman, Dillon Mahlaba, Rustin Ruiters, Chad Harris, Abdul Malik Martin, Wesley Sniders, Bevan Paige.
Back Row L-R: Khaya Botha, Ghaalib Avontuur, Ivan Daniels, Nathan Du Plessis (Coach), Mogamat Fredericks, Sadley Martin (Assistant Coach), Lionel Cloete, Hilton Kuhn, Gladwin Lambrechts.
Front Row L-R: Shane Maarman, Dillon Mahlaba, Rustin Ruiters, Chad Harris, Abdul Malik Martin, Wesley Sniders, Bevan Paige.
On Saturday - 24th October - all the hard work culminated in the Heart Squad celebrating their winning achievements with a presentation ceremony on Signal hill while overlooking the magnificent Greenpoint Stadium. League trophies, medals and various awards were handed to them by the coaches, while Gavin Meiring, Station Manager for Heart 104.9FM, pledged his continuing support into 2010.

The soccer clinics started out by providing children with a training environment to learn the game, develop skills and very importantly provide encouragement for aspiring youth. Regular visits from local heroes, including Santos Football Club first team players and coach, as well as English Premier League side, Hull City (whose youth coach gave training sessions) helped provide inspiration and professional training to the kids. It was all done free of charge, for the love of the game and getting kids off the street while empowering grass roots level football.

“After being involved in SA football for 14 years it became absolutely apparent that football at grassroots level has been under funded, ignored and left with bad facilities and inexpert coaches,” says Nick Feinberg, presenter of The Beautiful Game on Heart 104.9FM. He adds that “this has been evident in the level of football played at a local, professional and national level.”

Free soccer clinics will once again be offered to kids between the ages of 6 and 12 years old from Saturday, 7 November this year. Kids are welcome to join the summer training camp that will take place every Saturday at the Hamiltons Rugby club.

For more information on the Heart Squad's success story and plans for the summer training camp please feel free to contact Tasmin Kriel 021 406 8917 or on .

28 Oct 2009 23:20

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