17 November 2018


Lehari leads plans for VTSD Games

by: Elias Malindi   date:

MEC for Education and Sport Development in Bokone Bophirima, Sello Lehari, has taken the first step to prepare for the launch of the Villages, Townships and Small Dorpies (VTSD) Games, scheduled for March next year (2017).

Though the official launch is still months away, Lehari last week met Members of the Mayoral Councils (MMCs) responsible for sport and the Provincial Sport Confederation, to map out strategies to revive and develop different sporting codes in the province.

In that meeting held at the Bojanala District Municipality Chambers in Rustenburg, all parties agreed that there's a need to empower the province's sport teams. VTSD Games will kick off with male and female soccer tournaments and netball next year, while other sporting codes will be introduced in 2018.

The intention of the VTSD Games is to give exposure to young people from previously disadvantaged areas and provide a platform for them to compete at district and provincial level, where provincial squads will be selected. All games would start at the ward level.

President of the Provincial Sport Confederation, Jan Patrick van Neel, commended the sport department for bringing local government councillors responsible for sport together to discuss issues of common interest. "It is history in the making to bring councillors and sports people under one roof. There is excitement already about this opportunity to uncover and identify talent," van Neel said. "This idea will assist in bringing back young people who are addicted to alcohol and drugs. It is a chance to present young people with opportunities in sport".

Provincial Secretary of the South African Football Association (SAFA) in Bokone Bophirima, Thebe Sekoto, said his organisation is fully behind the government's initiative.

"The association will provide a team of best referees to officiate in all the games. We will assist in drawing fixtures from ward level until provincial level," said Sekoto.

MEC Lehari said his department is determined to bring positive changes to sport in the province.

"As a provincial government, we want to revive sports in and out of schools. We want to take young people from the streets using sports. The selected provincial male soccer team will be part of teams that will play in next year's Maize Cup tournament hosted by our province. "This team will get a chance to play with professional teams from the Premier Soccer League and maybe some players could be spotted by those teams," said Lehari.

MEC Lehari said the province would in January next year convene a Sport Indaba to discuss challenges in provincial sport.

Captions: 1. MEC Sello Lehari, President of the Provincial Sport Confederation, Patrick van Neel and Chief Director for Sport, Dr Victor Mogajane pictured with MMSc and SAFA officials. 2. Members of the Mayoral Council responsible for sport with SAFA officials during a meeting.