A marketing manager and a former bandiet have teamed up to form a soccer club for youngsters from poor Cape Flats communities to bring about change in their lives.
Friedl Gertse, from Kuils River, manages the digital marketing of a private distance-learning college, but he always knew he was meant to do something more with his life.
“A soccer club is something I’ve always wanted to start as I love soccer. I’m a very competitive person and always dreamt of one day competing in top leagues in Cape Town, but to also have some of the boys scouted to play for the top clubs in SA,” said Gertse.
In 2010, Gertse met Magadien Wentzel, who shared his vision.
In 2020, the two reconnected and decided to found a soccer club, especially since Wentzel used to coach soccer and has a coaching certification.
Their soccer club is called Young Tornado Warriors, inspired by the 1999 tornado that hit Manenberg.
“We came up with this name to remind the boys that no matter what life throws at you or if you lose everything, you will always come out a warrior and prosper,” said Gertse.
Wentzel spent 25 years in jail, where he studied psychology and upon his release in 2003, he pledged to give back to his community.
“After my house arrest was completed, I decided to start a youth development group called Tornado Stallions Youth Development,” said Wentzel.
Gertse said they want to give players an equal opportunity to make it in life.
“These boys don’t want to join gangs or partake in crime. All they want is for people to empower them.”
Gertse said they currently have 80 players, aged eight to 25 years, and plan to start a women’s team.
Gertse’s NPO, Greater Purpose Outreach is also running a feeding scheme for about 40 children in Wellington.
African News Agency (ANA)