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July 24, 2009

Soccer safari: part three

South Africa Homeless Soccer training camp

To get to the final stop of the Coffeebeans Routes soccer safari, we cruised through Cape Town’s southern suburbs and into the Philippi farming area, coming to a stop at a nondescript security gate. On the other side, I was to find the real gem of the day.

Through the gate, we drove up to a small tarmac soccer pitch where a group was feverishly engaged in a game of soccer. Our tour guide explained that this was the team that would represent South Africa at the Homeless World Cup in Italy in September.

Surprisingly, the team does not have a nickname. In a country where we embrace “Bafana Bafana”, “Amakrokokroko” and “Amaglug-glug”, the team definitely needs a name other than “SA Homeless Soccer Team”. Cape Tourism will be asking you, the public, to send your suggestions for their nickname. We’ve already had one suggestion, “amahomey-homey”. What do you think?

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Each year, a team is selected to represent South Africa at the international competition. Thapelo Kalpens was part of the team that represented South Africa in Australia last year.

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Players reside in a nearby hostel, making it easier for them to attend the practice sessions.

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The soccer programme has had numerous successes, with some former players now studying at local universities of technology.

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The team even has a small group of supporters, which comes to what them play and cheer them on.

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Staff of Cape Town Tourism and the coach of the SA Homeless Team (from left): Thozama, Nicole, the Coach, Clive and Shelton.

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The team can relax and play pool at the recreational area.

Check out this video of the team practising.

Click here to see part one of the soccer safari. Click here to see part two of the soccer safari.

Aslam Levy is an eMarketing Coordinator at Cape Town Tourism, you can view his personal blog here.

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