HopSol catches ’em young
A youth soccer league has been launched by retired Brave Warriors player Collin Benjamin and playing street soccer will soon be a thing of the past for boys in Windhoek.
19 January 2017 | Sports
Windhoek’s children are being targeted as beneficiaries of the HopSol youth soccer league that was launched yesterday by retired footballer Collin Benjamin.
Speaking at the launch, Benjamin said Namibia was blessed with an abundance of soccer talent but lacked sufficient grassroots development.
The youth soccer league is an initiative of the BKK Auas Sports Trust that aims to create a platform for soccer development among youth aged nine to 19, with a financial boost by HopSol Solar Power of N$1 million for three years.
“I am passionate about addressing this social challenge and using soccer as a tool to drive changes within our society,” Benjamin said.
“I believe it is imperative that for soccer to advance and for talented athletes to be identified, proper and structured development programmes should be in place and each in its own capacity and level.”
He said the creation of the youth league was an initiative to provide a platform for soccer development, “as we want to broaden the current scope of organised football and diversify, and basically revive the culture of school rivalry.
“When I was growing up I did not have the chance to play in school competitions but that is what we want to revive, we want schools to play against each other and we want the whole location talking about it,” said Benjamin.
He said the BKK Sports Trust wanted to create an atmosphere for proper talent and skills development by offering regular playing opportunities and developing every individual’s talent in the process.
HopSol Solar Power’s chairman, Robert Hopperdietzel, expressed the company’s desire to utilise the youth league to develop talented players who can compete with the best in the world.
“We would like to use sport as a vehicle to remove at least 1 000 children from the streets and create future soccer icons who can place Namibia on the global map,” he said.
About 700 players from different clubs and schools are expected to participate in the league this year.
Each age group is expected to have 10 teams. No registration fees will be charged but commitment will be demanded.
The league will seek co-sponsors to help with transport for the teams.
At the moment only boys will take part but Benjamin said depending on the number of interested girls, they too would be welcome to take part.
The league will start on 24 February and end on 28 October. Matches will be played at the Ramblers, SKW, DTS and Van Rhijn soccer fields.