Silver Stars Soccer Tournament back with a bang

THE highly successful Siverstar Soccer Stars development programme kicked
off the year with the season’s opening tournament recently.

Now in its third year, Silverstar Casino’s Soccer Stars programme continues to
impact surrounding communities in a positive way and has become part of the sports
calendar in these communities. It receives great support and eager participation
from the learners and their coaches.

The programme imparts life skills such as discipline, time management and
responsibility to the young learners and encourages healthy living, nutrition and
fitness.

More than 800 primary and secondary school learners and their coaches from 58
schools in the Swaneville, Munsieville and Kagiso areas on Johannesburg’s West Rand
competed. The tournament incorporates children from the 11 to16-year-old age groups.

League matches are held weekly on Wednesday afternoons in all three communities to
accommodate all three age groups. These matches culminate at the season’s closing
tournament in September 2012. A full soccer kit – including team colour shorts,
shirts and socks, as well boots, goalkeeper gear and shirts for the coaches – is
provided to each player and each team takes personal responsibility for ensuring
that their kit is well taken care of.

“Learners, teachers and coaches have come to realise the programme is here to stay
and attendance and active participation from them are increasing every year,” says
Johannes Radebe, human recourses manager and head of corporate social investment
(CSI) at Silverstar Casino.

The top 30 players of each age group in U12, U14 and U16 compete from September to
November and in November the top 18 players are announced. These top 18 players from
each age group form the Silverstar Soccer Stars and each team is submitted into the
SAFA Rand Central leagues the following year.

“We look forward to building on our success of the last two years and to continue
making a long-lasting difference in these communities,” says Shane Collinson,
director of operations and complex general manager for Silverstar Casino.

The Silverstar Soccer Stars programme is a successful collaboration between
Silverstar Casino, Dreamfields Project, the Gauteng Department of Education ato
impact and change the lives of young people.

This is a comprehensive development programme that does not only involve
tournaments.  “We look at the full school calendar year as an opportunity for
development, starting with the tournament. The youngsters’ love and passion for
soccer is used to build strong and healthy communities of tomorrow,” says Shanda
Paine, group CSI manager for Tsogo Sun.

Additional information:
In order to ensure the sustainability of this tournament, Silverstar Casino provides
transport to the schools on an ongoing basis thereby giving the teams every
opportunity to attend all their league matches.

Staff from Silverstar Casino volunteer s a considerable portion of their spare time
throughout the season to interact with the various schools to ensure the success of
this tournament and this has also had a great impact on the success of the
programme.

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