Vuma has announced its continued sponsorship of the Shaka Easter Soccer Tournament, making it possible for the organisers to create even more extraordinary opportunities for South African youth to develop their skills and unleash their potential by playing the beautiful game.
The tournament, in its second year, kicks off from 15 to 17 April 2022 in Soshanguve, Pretoria, and promises to help over 200 South African youth get closer to achieving their dreams of becoming professional soccer players.
“The tournament has grown significantly since its inception in 2021, from 16 teams in the Open and Masters divisions last year to 32 teams across Open, Masters, Women, Under-13, and Under-17 divisions this year,” says Tshepo Letjane, President and founder of Shaka Easter Soccer Tournament.
“We intend to expand this tournament to other regions of Tshwane before turning it into a national event,” he adds.
As the tournament’s sponsor, the leading South African fibre provider is investing in the players’ development by covering the event’s costs and providing every team with soccer kits, so the players have a sense of pride when they’re on the field.
“I appreciate the fact that even though we might not win the tournament, we still walk away as winners because of the soccer kits that we get to keep and wear when we play in other matches after the tournament. That’s the real prize for a small local team like ours,” says Nkateko Tibane, Shaka United soccer player. “We’re grateful to Vuma and hope they continue to sponsor the tournament in the future, so more kids can have the same experience as us and access the same opportunities this platform creates.”
In addition to the kit, 21-year-old Tibane says the tournament gives players exposure to an even broader audience and the opportunity to be scouted, motivating them to play at their best. He dreams of playing against Cristiano Ronaldo or playing in the same league as the Manchester United player.
He’d also like to make enough money from the sport to open a company that will sponsor the competition that once gave him a shot at success.
The soccer tournament aims to empower players like Tibane and the community of Soshanguve by creating positive connections between the players, community members, and organisations. Its goal is to put the community on the map and award it the recognition it deserves for the talent it can produce.
“We didn’t have opportunities like this while growing up. So, taking part in the Shaka Easter Soccer Tournament is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity for these kids,” says Katlego Mphela, former Bafana Bafana player and Shaka Easter Soccer Tournament ambassador. “This platform helps them feel positive about themselves and shows them that it’s possible to break away from whatever negative circumstances might be holding them back from achieving their dreams, like becoming a professional soccer player.
“I’m also grateful to Vuma for getting involved because it’s not every day that we get organisations like this sponsoring such events in our communities. It gives people hope and brings us all together,” he adds.
“We’re always thrilled to create opportunities that give our youth a shot at a better life, which is why we’re so excited to continue our partnership with the Shaka Easter Soccer Tournament,” says Taylor Kwong, CSI Manager at Vuma. “We realise that this is more than just a soccer tournament for the players in Soshanguve; it’s an opportunity to open doors and achieve something great. We believe that by continuing to empower these young players, we can empower communities, and by empowering communities, we can build a more inclusive economy.”
Vuma is a leading South African fibre provider that has passed more than one million homes since its operations began in 2014. Vuma connects South African communities to high-speed, fit-for-purpose internet through open-access fibre broadband. Working with more than 60 Internet Service Providers (ISPs), Vuma’s value extends beyond infrastructure and empowers ordinary individuals and communities across South Africa to do more, see more, and dream of more.
Guided by its philosophy of ‘if we can, we must’, Vuma strives to drive transformation and break communication barriers. The brand has connected more than 500 registered primary and high schools in the regions where it operates, to free 1Gbps fibre broadband internet. This supports hundreds of thousands of young people and their teachers through access to the boundless opportunities of the internet, in collaboration with its partner ISPs.
Among Vuma’s accolades are: South Africa’s Best Fibre Provider in 2019 at the MyBroadband Conference and Expo; Fastest Growing Broadband Provider in 2020 and Best Broadband Provider in 2021 by the International Business Magazine Awards; the Global Economics Award for Fastest Growing Telecommunications Company 2021 and Vuma’s CEO, Dietlof Mare, was awarded Telecom CEO of the Year 2020 South Africa as well as Telecom CEO of the Year 2021 South Africa by the International Business