Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Bree Primary School youngster will be keeping the team spirits high as they prepare for Morocco
Tshegofatso Nkge will be travelling to Morocco in October with Bree Primary School to represent South Africa at the under-12 Danone Nations Cup World Finals, and according to the school Principal, Dave Kalicharan, this youngster will play a key role in the team leading up to and during the tournament.
“He is a great motivator and is always joking around and making his team mates laugh,” said Kalicharan. “This is over and above the fact that he is a skilled centre back who one day wants to emulate his hero, Neil Tovey.”
Tshegofatso started playing soccer in the streets when he was 5 years old and was spotted by the coach of Naledi Academy, Bizza. “He saw my potential and mentored me and in 2013 he took me and 5 other players to attend trials at Bree Primary School. Three of us were successful, and I joined Bree in January 2014.”
The youngster has settled into the school well and has made many new friends and credits the success of the team to the dedication of the principal. “It’s been great being a part of the school and I have adjusted very well. Mr Kalicharan loves soccer and makes sure that we participate in different tournaments. He is very dedicated.”
Playing in the Danone Nations Cup national finals is seen by Tshegofatso as one of the highlights of his life to date. “On that day we were filled with so many emotions; happy, excited, scared and intimidated. The final was against Nelson Mandela and from the start of the game I knew that we were going to win. They were a very strong team, but we were stronger and hungrier than they were. Winning the nationals made me realise how much I love soccer and how important it is to work hard.”
The world finals are a different ball game, Tshegofatso knows. “We will be playing against the best schools from different countries. There is a lot of pressure on us as everyone wants us to reach the same heights at the 2009 team that won the World Finals. Our biggest advantage is the fact that our coach was at the world finals and has seen how different countries play soccer.”
Tshegofatso is looking forward to exploring Morocco. “I have never heard of the country before. I want to have fun and enjoy myself the entire time that I am there.”
On his return from Morocco the youngster is hoping to be signed by an academy that will take him a step closer to playing soccer professionally one day. “Soccer is my passion and I definitely want to make a career out of it and I know that there are plenty of scouts out there that come and see our games.”
Danone Southern Africa is part of the Danone Group, one of the fastest-growing food companies in the world. Danone is present in over 120 countries across all continents. With 160 plants and around 100,000 employees, the Danone Group is the number one worldwide for Fresh Dairy Products. Danone’s mission is to bring health through food to as many people as possible.
One of the core values of the Danone Nations Cup tournament is to encourage young people to believe in their dreams. Through this initiative Danone offers a sporting event that reaches out to and inspires millions of children all over the world