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EZULWINI – It is no surprise that SAFCA President Gregory Mashilo and the Scara Thindwa Foundation have invested time to help shape local football at grassroots level.

According to Scara Thindwa Foundation Board Member Martin Dlamini, Eswatini and South Africa share a long term relationship in as far as football is concerned.

Dlamini said South Africa had long been involved in assisting Eswatini develop football at grassroots level.
The Board member disclosed this on Sunday at the KFC Youth Soccer Coaches’ Symposium 2019.

He recalled when Somhlolo National Stadium was to be officially opened in August 1968 before Independence.
“South Africa’s Orlando Pirates and Highlands Park had to host their derby here and be the first teams to play at Somhlolo. However, due to the political position during that time, the plan did not materialise,” he said.


Dlamini thanked the foundation, sponsor and the Ministry of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs and the teachers’ commitment for sports development.
Meanwhile, EFA Vice-President Dr Comfort Shongwe, who represented the President, Adam ‘Bomber’ Mthethwa, said this was the pathway to develop an elite football player.

Shongwe said the initiative was in line with their 2019-2022 strategic objectives to develop a fully-fledged and sustainable grassroots, youth and futsal development structure that would be a basis for the identification, nurturing and continuous development of quality elite players for competitive football in prospect. 

“We thank the foundation for the vision and working with the association to ensure that the work of the foundation is practical and achievable through the involvement of the teachers,” said the educators’ coaches’ representative Immanuel Gumedze.
Gumedze added that they believed that such an initiative would not be the last of its kind and urged the sponsor to make it possible to also have practical sessions in future.

The educator appreciated the ESSA for finding partners to help in making sports activities a success in schools as well as pleading with the association to find more partners to improve sports in local schools.

Gumedze also highlighted that the symposium had imparted significant knowledge in as far as child development was concerned and said they would now return to their respective schools to implement what they had been taught.

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