Friday, August 16, 2013

Benny's Sports Development and Adacemy wins Limpopo Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup provincial finals for a third time.

Benny’s Sports Academy has won the Limpopo provincial title in the under-19 Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup for the third year in a row. They beat FK Tijiane High School in a penalty shootout in the final, in Giyani last Saturday.  The win earns the school R 100 000 in prize money and both teams that played in the final now go through to compete in the national finals in Durban in September. 

David Mufamadi, owner of the academy, and manager of the team, says they will be discussing with the schools governing body how that money will be utilised. They used their 2011 winnings to buy new desks for the school and the R100 00 won last year went towards renovating the school hall.

Although the school has been at the Sanlam Kay Motsepe national finals twice before, they have never done very well there. Mufamadi explains that last year’s team was affected by the death of one of the school’s younger players at another tournament, which led to a drop in team morale. “We are up for the challenge this year,” he said. “We are a boarding school and most of the players are boarders, which makes it easier for coaches to have more time for training with them and be more flexible.”

“Further, all our coaches are permanent staff members who do not teach classes, so they focus on their teams only. We only hire coaches with SAFA coaching qualifications, or who are trained in sports management and/or sports sciences. I believe that this year we will succeed in the national finals as we have never been so ready,” said Mufamadi.

Mufamadi himself was a professional footballer in his day playing for Dynamos FC. He started Benny’s Academy as he believed that there was so much talent in Limpopo but there was no facility to develop the players further.

He has identified strength conditioning as an area that needs improvement prior to the national finals. “The players get tired quickly and seem to lose energy fast,” he says. “So we are working on that.”

Mufumadi sees striker, Lucky Marubini Manyane as a key players for the team. Lucky started playing soccer at the age of 7 and joined the Tab All Stars club in Madodonga Village, Venda at the age of 10.
He is currently completing Grade 12, focusing on commercial subjects, his favourite being Business Economics. The youngest of four lives with his mother, who owns a local pub, and older siblings (three older sisters).  His father, a professional footballer with Dynamos FC, died in 2009.

“My dream is to play for TUKS in the Premier League next year when I leave school as I want to play football but also study Economics at the University of Pretoria. He was invited for trials at Orlando Pirates but he was deemed too short. But that has not discouraged him.

His biggest inspiration is his mother. “She is the one who always tells me to never give up on my dreams. She encourages me and tells me that many people from poor communities have survived through pure talent and through their passion for soccer.”

In the meantime, he is looking forward to the national finals, and hopes the team will be successful, and that he will be spotted by a scout and invited to join a club.

About the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup:
·       The tournament is run under the auspices of the South Africa Football Association (SASFA)
   Named after prominent businessman Patrice Motsepe’s late mother, the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup offers the biggest prize money at school level in Africa (R3.4 million in total). 
·       The sponsors are:  Sanlam, the Motsepe Foundation and the Sanlam Ubuntu-Botho Community Development Trust.
·       The primary objective of the tournament is to revive the culture of school football amongst students between the age of 16 and 19 years old.

·       The tournament also gives players the opportunity to showcase their skills to soccer scouts with the talented players being recruited into development structures to be nurtured and shaped into professional players.

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