Young Kenhardt soccer fans meet their heroes in surprise visit

Young Kenhardt soccer fans meet their heroes in surprise visit

The small Northern Cape town of Kenhardt came to a standstill this week when four SA soccer legends arrived unexpectedly to meet the local soccer team, the Kenhardt Classic Eleven.

Bafana Bafana stars Teko Modise, Siyabonga Nomvethe and Matthew Booth, along with team manager Neil Tovey, had travelled to the province on Monday to compete in the BrightRock Battle of the Sports endurance challenge and Covid-19 fundraiser at Verneukpan.

“The response from the community was absolutely incredible,” said Clive Grinaker, CEO and founder of Events to Aid, the non-governmental organisation organising the challenge.

“The soccer stars did not stop kicking balls, signing shirts and sharing their experiences all afternoon. I have no doubt the Kenhardt community will never forget this special memory.”

Nomvethe did not leave the field on Monday until he had signed every little kid's T-shirt or soccer jersey, while Booth was welcomed with the customary cry of “Booooooooooth!” from the crowd.

“This is what this challenge is really about,” said Grinaker. “How wonderful to be able to bring such joy and positivity to this small community. Sport is all about affecting positive change, and we wish these amazingly humble and talented sportsmen all the best for the 200km challenge that lies ahead.”

In the Battle of the Sports, the soccer players, joined by expedition leader Erik Vermeulen, will aim to beat the blistering pace already set by the rugby and running teams.

Tovey was confident that Team Soccer would do well. “If you are a soccer fan, we appeal to you to support this worthy challenge with a small donation,” he said. “As soccer players we have led a blessed life and now is our chance to support those people affected by the pandemic.

“Your support will make all the difference. It’s about much more than just the bragging rights; it’s about helping the thousands of South Africans who need support — and we will never lose sight of that important goal. If we can inspire our hundreds of thousands of soccer fans to support us and make a small donation, we will have done our job.” 

How do you get involved?

Support your team in the 200km challenge by donating to this worthy cause, or decide what event you want to do — alone or in a team — andvisit the Battle of the Sports websiteto enter and pay for your team.

Film your event — you can also do more than one — and upload the footage onto the challenge'sFacebookorTwitterpage, or viaInstagram. Use the hashtags#battleofthesportschallenge #lovechangewhen posting.

Then challenge as many of your friends as possible, or any schools, clubs and companies, to do the challenge by tagging them in your social media posts.