On Sunday hundreds of Lavender Hill residents came together to celebrate the Beautiful Game in a community-building event.
The Lavender Hill Football Club took on members of the police’s Mitchells Plain and Wynberg Cluster and with fancy footwork overpowered the men in blue in a 5-2 thriller.
The soccer day was held on an open field in Blode Street known in the community as the “Battlefield” - a place where skollies openly wage war.
The event was organised by Ralph Bouwers, the CEO of Guardians of the National Treasure, an organisation that uplifts youth in the area.
“This event was to try and eradicate gangsterism and change the atmosphere in the community and to build a bridge between the community and the police, especially the men. It is the building of bridges that gets you to the other side,” says Ralph.
“We had under-12, -14, -16 and our senior teams participating, but the match of the day was police against Lavender Hill and we won,” Ralph says proudly.
Chairperson of the Mitchells Plain Cluster, Lucinda Evans, says she hopes this Sunday tradition will be a regular event.
“The hugs from children and conversations with parents were amazing. Twenty years ago Lavender Hill Sunday soccer was the best; no violence, food stalls, good music. I would love to see that come back to the community culture but on proper infrastructure to accommodate all,” Lucinda says.