A coaching clinic for young Uitenhage soccer enthusiasts last Friday had participants seeing stars – soccer stars, that is.
Organised by Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) and Built-it Kwa-Nobuhle, the coaching clinic was held at the new VWSA PeoplePavilion and saw retired ace soccer defender Jimmy Tau wow attendees with his skills.
Tau, who has played for Bafana Bafana, Oralando Pirates and even captained Kaizer Chiefs, popped in to help train VWSA employees’ soccer-loving children, as well children from the broader community.
“I really felt welcome by the people in Uitenhage. It was great to also see the partnership between the local soccer federation NODEFA, Build-it Kwa-Nobuhle and VWSA in the development of football,” said Tau.
Over 130 children from Kwa-Nobuhle in Uitenhage, Despatch, Rosedale and KwaLanga participated in the soccer coaching clinic. Tau took the children through their paces focussing on ball control, dribbling, goal keeping and target shooting.
“I wanted to be an inspiration to these rising stars and give them hope that they can become something in life no matter where they may come from,” he said.
The coaching clinic came hot on the heels of the recent successful Soccer Coaching Clinics, hosted by VWSA in conjunction with NODEFA (the Kwa-Nobuhle and Despatch Football Association) in September and October.
The young rising stars were clearly thrilled to play ball with one of South Africa’s soccer legends.
“My day was so enjoyable. I am so happy to have seen Jimmy with my own eyes,” said 11-year-old Anele Kika.
Phindubuye Primary’s Anele Magcuntsu was overjoyed, saying: “Today’s coaching taught me how to control the ball properly. I cannot even describe what if feels like to have seen Jimmy today. I was incredibly happy.”
Tau retired from professional soccer at the end of the 2012-13 season and is now involved with the development of youth, especially in disadvantaged areas.
“I got involved in the development of young talent because I think it’s an area we have overlooked,” said Tau. “For me, it was a matter of trying to give people who were just like me an opportunity they would most likely not have.”
After the euphoria of the soccer coaching clinic had subsided, Tau shared some wise words with budding stars.
“Not so long ago I was one of you, and today I just want to encourage you to stay in school because education is the most important thing, even above sport,” said Tau.