A group of youngsters from Cafda are trying to make a positive change in their community through soccer.
Their motto, “We play for unity in our community” gives an apt introduction to the club.
Theo Supud, 24, founder of FC Cafda, came with the idea to start a football club when he saw that there wasn’t one in Cafda.
However, Theo didn’t just want to start a soccer club, he wanted to start an organisation that gives children and especially young men an outlet.
“Growing up in Mitchell’s Plain and then moving to Cafda, I knew how important soccer was in my life.
“There are many things that youngsters struggle with, especially gangsterism,” said Theo.
“If I didn’t play soccer I would have probably ended up doing the wrong things. Soccer changed my life and saved me because it kept me away from drugs, gangsterism and all the other wrong stuff ,” he said. In May last year he started enquiring about starting the soccer club, which is also a registered youth development NPO.
“I went to the local soccer district and was told that I need to have an executive committee. I asked five of my friends who I knew to be good influences to help out and we haven’t looked back since,” he said.
Since its official launch in August last year, the club has raised funds to buy its own kits and equipment.
They also had a soup kitchen in winter last year and are planning a range of upliftment projects for the new year.
Club executive member, Wesley Jones said the club is not like any other. “The difference between FC Cafda and your surrounding football clubs is that we don’t just look at soccer from a sport aspect, we’re also looking at social development, building character and building good men who will be leaders in their communities,” said Mr Jones
“FC Cafda is also a platform for youngsters to show their talents. We want to expand, not to build the brand that much but to build the players up. We’re hoping to link up with other institutions and organisations to give the players more opportunities, not just to do with sports but for education opportunities and other avenues,” said Mr Jones.
The team practises every Tuesday and Thursday at the field in Komlossy Street in Cafda.
Ward 110 councillor Shanen Rossouw fully endorses the club and said she’s thankful to the group for taking the initiative.
“The young men who started the club have shown they’re serious about bringing a positive change in the community.
With all the shootings and wrong things going on, the club tries to keep the children and youngsters off the streets,” said Ms Rossouw.
“I will go out of my way to support them and in the next financial year I will make some of my ward allocations available to them because they make me so proud and I look forward to working with them in the future,” she said.
Edwin Miller, 10, joined the club in December last year and said it keeps him out of mischief.
“I would have been at home not having anything to do. The club keeps me busy so I don’t do wrong things,” he said.
Kyle Sonnenberg, 19, used to play soccer at a different club but is much happier at FC Cafda.
“They are good role models for the community. We are all friends and they support the players. I feel at home here,” he said.
So far FC Cafda has more than 60 junior members and about 30 seniors but the club is struggling to find sponsorship as well as coaches for their junior team.
“I’m the only one currently coaching the juniors.
One person to coach 60 children is very difficult so we’re appealing to anyone available to assist us please. Anyone who wants to join the club or assist the club with coaching or sponsorship can contact Theo on 063 017 6420 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.