The exciting final games in the Metshameko school football and netball programme — sponsored for the first time this year by Impala Rustenburg, Royal Bafokeng Holdings and Royal Bafokeng Sports — were held on 29 October at a Championship Festival at the Royal Marang Hotel in Phokeng. The jam-packed day of playoffs culminated in a prize-giving and awards ceremony to celebrate the best performers of the day.
The 2022 Metshameko tournament launched in mid-May and nearly 2 000 learners from 42 primary schools and 23 high schools in the greater Rustenburg area have benefitted from the weekly programme of coaching, games and playoffs. In addition, 215 coaches and umpires took part in the 2022 programme, including 140 teacher coaches, 30 volunteer coaches and 45 umpires.
The 16 school teams who made it through to the playoffs were:
● U/13 football: Platinum Village, Vuka, Saron, and Mfidikwe primary schools
● U/13 netball: Saraleng, Moremogolo, Reklakgona, and Mfidikwe primary schools
● U/17 football: Matetenene, Kitsong, Tshukudu, and Matsukubyane high schools
- U/17 netball: Matetenene, Khayalethu, Freedom Park, and Matale high schools
The winning school teams in each category were:
● U/13 football: Mfidikwe Primary
● U/13 netball: Rekhlagona Primary
● U/17 football: Tsukudu Secondary
- U/17 netball: Freedom Park Secondary
Numerous other medals, trophies and awards were presented to high-performing players and coaching teams.
Mark Munroe, Chief Executive of Impala Rustenburg, said the Company is proud to partner with Royal Bafokeng Holdings and Royal Bafokeng Sports in this invaluable sports initiative, which aligns perfectly with Impala Rustenburg’s commitment to investing in young people and schools in the mining community. “This is a highly impactful programme that delivers far more than the opportunity to play a sport – it also enriches lives through life skills learned, leadership qualities gained, effective teamwork, and by boosting self-esteem, all of which can change the trajectory of a child’s life and help contribute to a successful future. Our Impala Rustenburg sports team embraced this opportunity.”
Impala Rustenburg’s investment in the programme this year allowed for more children from more schools to participate compared to previous years, ensuring a greater overall impact in the community.
Brandon Silent, Sports Specialist at Impala Rustenburg, says the programme benefits the children immeasurably, giving them an opportunity to display their talent in the different sports, while also ensuring they improve their game throughout the tournament. “A highlight of Metshameko for me is identifying the children with the talent that can take them a lot further in their sporting careers, enabling them to hold on to their dream to play for the national teams.”
Vivian Foko, Netball Coach at Impala Rustenburg, is equally excited about the tremendous value that the Metshameko programme adds to young lives. “This programme identifies and develops talent, while also taking the children off the street and giving them a focus in their lives. It’s wonderful to see them enjoying themselves and becoming passionate about their sport.”
Royal Bafokeng’s support of this sports initiative goes back six years. Eugene Thipe, head of Royal Bafokeng Sports, notes that partnerships are key to ensuring the sustainability and success of an initiative such as the Metshameko sports programme, and that collaborating with Impala Rustenburg this year significantly increased the programme’s reach and impact. “We all know what Nelson Mandela so wisely said about sport – that it ‘has the power to change the world, to inspire, and to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand.’ We witness this truth daily in our sports activities, and it’s a privilege to play a key role in empowering our young people through sport.”