GQEBERHA – The Victoria Park Soccer Challenge Girls Cup Champions, Vulumzi High School, are playing for more than just a victory on the field but more so for a victory off the field.
The Victoria Park Soccer Challenge kicked off on Friday, 31st March 2023, at Victoria Park High School in Walmer, Gqeberha.
Schools from all corners of the country gathered and competed as Victoria Park once again hosted the impactful tournament.
Originating from the gang ridden streets of Motherwell, the biggest township in South Africa, Ntombekhaya Tose marshaled her troops to the Girls Cup Final where they beat Alexander Road High School five goals to nil.
Tose, a teacher and coach at Vulumzi, had done this many times in the past but this time round, the decorated coach led an all-girls team with a different purpose in mind.
Alcohol and drug abuse prevail in the townships in South Africa mainly because of the vandalized sporting facilities which were built to keep township kids off the streets.
Coaching an all-girls team, Tose is determined to play a part in her girls’ lives to help them avoid the snares of township life.
Too many times, young girls growing up in townships fall victim to teenage pregnancy and alcohol abuse for a host of different reasons.
Tose believes sport is the solution for her girls to build a fruitful life for themselves and their families.
“We are able to run away from the negative things like alcohol, teenage pregnancies,” Tose told SuperSport Schools in an exclusive interview.
“We use sport as our traditional weapon to fight all these things.” She added.
A netball player in her youth, Tose is a passionate sport fanatic and coach.
Her drive is to expose her girls to sport as a career path that they all can venture into. Tose emphasized that some girls may not be as talented academically as they may be in sport, hence the need for more investments into sport for girls in the townships.
“Also, we use sport to make learners feel valuable because other kids aren’t A students. You need to test and explore the child’s talents whether that’s in the classroom or out in the field,” said Tose.
“I like to work with young ones, inside and outside the classroom. I feel it is my duty to lead and inspire these young girls to see themselves living a better life than what they are exposed to in the townships.”
Sport is still a male-dominated industry in South Africa. Whether it is out in the field or in admin offices, there’s more men than there are women.
Tose believes this is mainly because girls are not exposed to the many opportunities of sports from a young age quite like young boys are.
Her dream is to see the girls involved in sport in some capacity.
“Football to me is no longer just a game to play for enjoyment but it can serve as a source of employment,” said Tose.
“Being a school based in Motherwell where there is a high rate of unemployment, some of these girls may not be that good in the field but they may be good doing administrative work in football for example.
“Within football, I want to push these girls to get into admin should it happen that they don’t make it to the professional scene as players.”
The journey to a prosperous society and sporting environment is accelerated by the likes of Ntombekhaya Tose who strive to use sport as a vehicle for change.