A soccer team from a township near Franschoek are set to compete in the World’s largest International Youth Soccer Tournament to be held in Gothenburg Sweden.
The Kusasa Stars, a team of 12 year olds from Groendal and Langrug Township are about to embark on an adventure of a life time.
The trip, organised by “Big George” a retired MET Policeman from London and regular visitor to Franschhoek, initiated the boys participation in the global event.
The Gothia Cup is the world’s largest and most international youth football tournament. Each year, around 1700 teams from 80 nations take part and they play 4500 games on 110 fields.
It’s the teams, and participants from around the world that make the tournament unique. A meeting place for the world’s youth, irrespective of religion, skin color or nationality, with football as the common denominator.
“The first Gothia Cup was held in 1975. The tournament was started by the football associations BK Häcken, GAIS and a local newspaper but has been owned since the early 80’s entirely and solely by BK Häcken. Through the years, almost a million players from a total of 146 countries have participated in the tournament.”
George has traveled to South Africa three times to make all the arrangements, visiting the Paarl Home Affairs at least twenty times to sort out birth certificates and then passports for the children in the team.
“The staff there got to appreciate what he was trying to do and in the end he was sent straight to the front of the queue.”
Four coaches who assist the team will be travelling with George to Sweden to assist the kids during the tournament. Dumisa from the BP Garage, Innocent from Boekenhoutskloof, Jeffrey who manages a smallholding in the Chamonix Estate and another local coach Rasda.
George has raised all the funds for this trip through his friends in Sweden had added 450 pairs of kids soccer boots which will be sent to the valley. He is due to arrive back in Franschhoek this Thursday and will then escort The Kusasa Stars and Coaches to Sweden via Dubai on the 12th July.