A new football club for the youth began in Port Alfred in June last year in the hope of finding and developing talent.
However, Covid pandemic has prevented sportspeople from participating in team sports and the club, Young Pirates, has suffered as a result. Without money they cannot purchase kit or even basic equipment and they are asking the community to assist them.
The club is popular in Port Alfred and has attracted so many players that a the U13 team has been extended to include and U15 team (although all players qualify as U13).
The coaches, Melumti “Trouble” Kula and Phmelele Mahala “Thambolenyoka” Rayi, are volunteers who work tirelessly to train the youth four afternoons of the week, Monday to Thursday, for two hours, from 3pm to 5pm.
“We need assistance to purchase kit, balls, cones and bibs,” said Rayi who is the coach for the U13 team as well as the club secretary. “We have approached several businesses in the area for sponsorship but with little or no luck. In fact, one company said that SAFA (the South African Football Association) had prevented them from assisting youth development. But since the community helps these businesses survive (especially through the difficult pandemic) we feel that they should assist our youth.”
At present there are 40 players in the Young Pirates with more anxious to join, but Rayi said they were totally reliant upon the coaches’ and parents’ monetary donations to the club.
Young Pirates play a game every Friday at Gidana Stadium at 3pm, and team and parents meetings are held on Saturdays at 3pm.
“We would like to thank all the parents who allow their children to join this development team as well as those who spend time to watch and support the teams and encourage their children. Their support has played a huge role in our football,” said Rayi. “I would also like to thank the senior players, and especially Luvoyo Hoyila for their support of the youth.”
To contact Rayi call 078-258-8784.