Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire, the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sports can create hope, where there was once only despair. It is more powerful than governments in breaking down racial barriers. It laughs in the face of all types of discrimination. – Nelson Mandela
Sport is recognised as a vehicle for social upliftment and societal betterment the world over. And for the informal settlement of Zandspruit, North West of Johannesburg, the annual soccer and netball tournament arranged by Impophomo in the community is a highlight on the sporting calendar.
With the help of our partners and donors, this exciting competition has awarded trophies and prizes of sports equipment to the best home-grown local teams who have won the round-robin soccer and netball contests. The final knockout rounds lead to one clear winner on the day in each category. In previous years, as many as sixteen soccer teams and five netball teams have taken to the fields to test their mettle.
We have been running successful tournaments in Zandspruit for over a decade
Impophomo has been organising the event each year since 2009. It took a worldwide pandemic to hinder the occasion, but this year we are back and better than ever to see the youth of Zandspruit put their God-given talents on display for all to see on the soccer and netball field.
The event has been a success from the beginning, and over the years has attracted attention, recognition, and endorsement far beyond the community itself. In fact, investment for the event has seen international support and interest from persons and organisations as far afield as Texas, USA, our neighbouring Zimbabwe, and India. Gauteng Sports MECs and professional local soccer stars have also made a point to attend the tournaments as spectators and speakers, including Bafana Bafana player Siboniso Gaxa.
The success of the tournament extends beyond the day itself
Pretoria-based SuperSport United Football Club seeks to see youth developing their soccer potential and have been involved with the event for several years now. This DsTV premiership team has committed to include Zandspruit as a feeder area for the academy of their football club, and over the last few years players from the community have been accepted into SuperSport’s football academy, which itself was established in 2000 to develop soccer talent and educate youth twelve years and older.
In bygone years the football club has run workshops in the run-up to the tournament, showing their commitment to the event and the community.
Building relationships with the community of Zandspruit
In the last thirteen years, this soccer and netball competition has come to be held in high esteem by the residents of Zandspruit. It has played a role in strengthening the sense of community and brought hope to the youth. The positive values that sport engenders have been reinforced and have given young people an alternative to idle hands and seeking meaning in unsavoury endeavours.
Impophomo’s goal has not been to simply arrive for one day out of 365, but to foster true and meaningful relationships with the community. We do ongoing work in Zandspruit throughout the year and will continue to help in empowering the community.
One of our ongoing initiatives is working meaningfully with local coaches. Dozens of soccer and netball coaches have been equipped to be even better mentors to the youth in the area. They are true role models to the young people of Zandspruit, bringing hope and a positive sense of belonging to the young people, who are facing incredible daily hardships.
It is generosity that makes this special tournament possible
This tentpole event of the community is only possible thanks to the generosity of volunteers and sponsors. Any individual who wants to become involved, either by donating time, funding, or sports equipment, can contact our offices to see how they can participate on the special day.
Corporations seeking to see the development of the youth in the Zandspruit community can also become partners in sowing into the future of this country’s potential sports stars and should not hesitate to see how they can come to the party with any resources they can provide, including funding, branded sports equipment, and branded gazebos on the day.
Come along on the day to be a part of the fun that is building social cohesion in the Zandspruit community, encouraging the youth in their participation of sport.