Northern Cape school gets support from a local farmer in their preparations for the Danone Nations Cup National Finals
Preparations for the national finals of the under-12 Danone Nations Cup soccer tournament are well underway. The nine provincial champions are getting in those last practise sessions before they all head to Soweto’s Dobsonville Stadium on the 15th of September.
The winner there will represent South Africa in the Danone Nations Cup world finals in Barcelona, Spain in 2019.
Lutzburg International School will represent the Northern Cape at the nationals and, thanks to the enormous support from local farmer, Aubrey Laubscher, the team is fit and ready for the nationals.
Aubrey might be a farmer, but he is a sportsman at heart, said school manager, Charles Basson. “He comes to the school every day and helps with the warm up and coaching. He has also secured sponsorships for kit and equipment. He has been very supportive and has done so much to ensure we are ready for the national finals.”
Basson explains further that most of the players live in poor communities and often are confronted with challenging situations which affects their play. “As soccer is a team sport, if someone is not pulling his weight it affects everyone. Here again Aubrey helps by counselling the boys and helps them to re-focus.”
Lutzburg is a small school based amongst the farmlands of Kakamas. “It is very exciting to be going to the national finals after numerous attempts,” said Basson, a social and natural science teacher at the school. “We are a small school so our pool of players to select from is limited, which is not the case in most of the other provinces, but we are ready and fit and will do our best in Gauteng. We will be going all out to be the first Northern Cape school to represent South Africa at the world finals, but I don’t want to put pressure on the boys and I am encouraging them to have fun and just enjoy the moment. I tell them to have confidence in themselves and play their best in every game, not matter how the other teams play.”
Basson doesn’t have any coaching qualifications but is passionate about soccer and was a good player. “I went for trials at Mamelodi Sundowns when I was at high school in the early 90’s but was unsuccessful. I then went to AmaZulu where Clive Barker was the coach but broke my knee during a practice game. After being out of action for a while I decided to study teaching instead of pursuing a career in soccer.”
A player cannot excel without good nutrition, explained Basson, and here again the farmer has come to the schools’ assistance. “Aubrey comes to training armed with food hampers to ensure the player’s nutritional needs are met. The school does have a feeding scheme, but the hampers are extra as sportsmen need that additional nutrition to ensure their energy and stamina are kept at optimal level. This will be important in Gauteng due to the number of games we will be playing on the day.”
The schools that have qualified for the Danone Nations Cup national finals include:
|NORTHERN CAPE||Lutzburg Intermediate School|
|FREE STATE||Tshediso Xolani Primary School|
|LIMPOPO||Benny’s Sports Academy & Development|
|MPUMANLANGA||Shapeve Primary School|
|NORTH WEST||Laerskool Rustenburg Noord|
|KZN||Muzuvukile Primary School|
|EASTERN CAPE||Charles Morgan Primary School|
|WESTERN CAPE||Nomlinganiselo Primary School|
|GAUTENG||Zamukhanya Primary School|
Info supplied by Kassey Belluigi.