Transnet Ltd’s corporate social investment arm, Transnet Foundation, has successfully hosted two sports tournaments, a one day in the Northern Cape and a three day tournament in KwaZulu Natal with resounding success. The KZN tournament kicked off of on Friday the 21st of June in Ixopo where the Foundation hosted the inter-schools competition, closely followed by the yet another on Saturday, the 22nd in Richard’s Bay and the Provincial final on Monday the 24th of June, 2013.
Unlike the KwaZulu Natal tournament, the Northern Cape tournament, which happened to be the last of a series of Provincial tournaments was a one day event held on Friday the 28th of June, 2013. In KwaZulu Natal province, Richard’s Bay and Ixopo, a town situated on a tributary of the Mkhomazi River, were neck on neck as athletes jostled with each other’s strengths and endurances while future football stars dribbled each other away as supporters cheered. On the flip side, calmly and with great care after so much pondering, a student would stretch its arm, reach out for a piece and gracefully push it, with the utmost hope that their strategy finally keeps the opponent’s king in check.
The two challenging inter-schools tournaments build-up led to the grand events, the KwaZulu Natal Provincial Sport Tournament and the Northern Cape Provincial Tournaments which will later precipitate into a national sport tournament that brings together and showcase all the hidden rural and farm schools talent sometime in September, 2013. This national event normally brings together close to 2 500 extremely talented school children to partake in athletics, football, netball and chess.
The events, deliberately cast within the youth month of June, remain a clear indication of Transnet Ltd’s unwavering commitment to social investment and the development of the youth in the communities within which it operates, says Cynthia Mgijima, Head of the Transnet Foundation.
“We stand without any ounce of doubt of the fact that the Foundation, through its sport portfolio, has tirelessly given, and continues to give young sportsmen and women in rural communities a great opportunity that enables them to fulfill their dreams. We would like to thank all the schools that participated and congratulate all the winners who have scored a place on the national tournament,” she says.
The Foundation has fortunately been able to retain top sport personalities like Jabu Pule Mahlangu and Siyabonga Sangweni as its ambassadors and runs the football project in collaboration with its SAFA/Transnet School of Excellence which is always on the look-out for new talent. The Foundation recognises that with a gentle, supportive nudge and development, many of these promising young learners will be able to qualify for bursaries to further their education and be able to earn a good living through sport.
Brian Molefe, Transnet Ltd’s Group Chief Executive Officer says that sport has always been an integral part of communities and countries, uniting and encouraging people to work together and achieve great things. Only recently however, he says, has sport entered another realm, that of a two way to promote development.
Transnet Foundation’s commitment to sports development is geared at instilling a strong sense of national pride among today’s youth - inspiring them to be tomorrow’s sporting stars. The primary mission is to unearth South Africa’s undiscovered sporting talent and to nurture it to the highest possible level. In so doing, the Foundation aims to make a social change in the lives of our future sporting stars, as well as in their communities.