Leading construction materials group, AfriSam, today kicked-off the AfriSam Ima Nathi Soccer Development Programme in association with the South African Football Association (SAFA) and Ditsobotla Local Football Association (DILFA).
To celebrate the launch of the programme, local community members were invited to a celebrity-filled opening game at the Itsoseng stadium between AfriSam employees and a local SAFA team, each team supplemented with legends such as Fabian McCarthy, Lovers Mohlala and Jacob Tshisevhe.
Attending the event was high-ranking SAFA officials, including Vice-President Gay Mokoena, former national players such as Neil Tovey, the Ditsobotla Mayor, Honourable Daniel Buthelezi and the North West MEC of Education and Sports Development, Honourable Sello Jonas Lehari.
Ima Nathi is a SAFA coaching programme, implemented by the SAFA regions at Local Football Associations (LFAs) across the country. The focus of the programme is to train coaches to develop players – boys and girls - from the ages six to 18 years.
“AfriSam is proud to join as a sponsor of the Ima Nathi programme that will provide the foundation of tomorrow’s skilled South African footballers – together building our nation’s football skills from the grass-roots level up”, commented AfriSam CEO, Rob Wessels.
With AfriSam’s Dudfield cement plant operating in the same community as the DILFA, it was a natural choice for AfriSam to provide its support to this specific LFA. AfriSam has a long history of making a sustainable difference in the communities where it operates and within Lichtenburg and surrounding communities AfriSam Dudfield has recently renovated two schools and upgraded ablution facilities of four others, amongst other corporate social responsibility activities.
AfriSam’s 3-year sponsorship makes provision for the following critical aspects as part of the Ima Nathi programme:
Coaches: all costs associated with the upskilling of coaches including the various courses to obtain B, C and D-level licences, coaching course educational material and on-field equipment. The programme allows for the training of 140 DILFA coaches per year for the next three years. Skilled coaches will mean better skilled players, which in turn will create bigger opportunities for the DILFA players.
Players: In addition to obtaining technical football knowledge and skills, all players in the DILFA will undergo a valuable life-skills programme.
Kit: sponsorship of all DILFA football player jerseys.
The AfriSam Ima Nathi programme will provide coaches from the DILFA with the necessary skills and knowledge to train local football teams. These coaches will in turn train the area’s young, aspirant footballers; keeping them off the streets. While training, players will learn invaluable skills such as leadership, hard work, self-discipline and social skills.
“One of AfriSam’s corporate social responsibility focus areas is youth development. We are excited to, once again, join hands with the local community to create a future of possibilities for our youth and what better way to achieve this than through the passionate sport of football. We look forward to the many future national football team players that will come from the Ditsobotla Local Football Association.
In the spirit if Ima Nathi we say: stand with us, play your part, get involved”, concludes Wessels.