Activator Khaya Phenduka, was unsure about how he would spend his volunteer day and where. Being as passionate as he is about soccer, he just couldn’t find a way to figure out how his passion could be used for something greater than just playing soccer. After much reflection though, he realised that there are bigger lessons that can be learned from ‘the beautiful game’. For starters, like life a soccer match is something that can only happen when others are involved. It requires team spirit and collective effort, very much in the same way that correcting the ills in life need solidarity from others to overcome.
It also dawned that in life, one’s networks are made up of different people – each with their own skills and contributions that they make in one’s life. The same applies in a game of soccer. Each player has their strengths and those are used trying to win the match and if this doesn’t happen, mistakes are looked back at and learned from. After many such deliberations in his mind, Khaya then decided he would spend his volunteer day with his team, that it would be about using the team’s practice to send a message that impacts players’ lives even beyond the practice session.
Training usually starts at 17h30 to 19h00 and is split into 4 sessions. The team starts with a warm-up, followed by physical training and the ‘ball work’, then stretching thereafter. So the volunteer day, which took place on the 1st of May 2013, was a very intensive training session instead of the usual. Khaya pushed the team physically, in an attempt to show that like when training, youth are often capable of much more than they realise and that it is often only discovered when pushing the boundaries.
Soccer is something that this Activator always makes time for, even when his hours seem limited. Since his volunteer day, he has realised just what a powerful force the team is within the community. Training and match days have become days of encouragement. They are a space where information and advice are shared amongst them andl also a place where young people are kept away from negative influences.
The team has since gone from strength to strength, even registering with the Atlantis Soccer League Association. Although they feel they have been unfairly treated by the Association, as a collective they intend to tackle it head first, with the same effort they are putting to changing their community for the better.