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Montego Cares U9 Champs 4 Change: Empowering Youth and Addressing Violence Against Women and Girls

By Siya Pongco , in Football | News , at 2023-11-24

Last year’s teams in the final. Birds United and Dangerous Darkies. Dangerous Darkies won on penalties.

The town of Graaff-Reinet is abuzz with anticipation as the second edition of the Montego Cares u9 Champs 4 Change Soccer Tournament springs into action on Friday.

Following a successful inaugural tournament in 2022, which made a significant impact on raising awareness and promoting positive change, the tournament organisers have continued to grow their message and have inspired more young athletes and community members to join the cause.

The extraordinary event not only highlights the skill and passion of young soccer players but also acts as a medium to bring attention to the urgent matter of violence against women and young girls.

With 120 boys and girls below the age of nine participating, the tournament strives to foster unity within the community and harness the power of sports as a catalyst for societal transformation, not only in Graaff-Reinet but also in its surrounding areas.

Using Sports to Raise Awareness 

Sports have always been a powerful tool in bringing people together and breaking down barriers. Karlien De Wet, Montego Pet Nutrition’s Corporate Social Responsibility Coordinator, said the u9 Champs 4 Change Soccer Tournament utilises the power of the game to impact on an important social issue.

She pointed out that the tournament is held during the 16 Days of Activism against the Abuse of Women and Children, and it aims to provide a platform to engage young athletes, their families, and the community in important conversations.

The Montego Cares u9 Champs 4 Change tournament also focuses on youth empowerment. “Not only do the young soccer players get to display their talent on the field, but they also get an opportunity to learn about the importance of respect, equality, and preventing violence against women and young girls.”

De Wet said the event will be graced by the presence of Dianne Bertram, a social worker, based in Graaff-Reinet, who will speak to the children before the games begin about the significance of gender equality and healthy relationships. “By instilling these values early on, the organisers hope to create a generation of socially conscious individuals, who will advocate for change in their communities.”

Through the tournament, the youth will be encouraged to embrace teamwork, fair play and respect for all, regardless of their gender, through the medium of sports.

Also, the tournament does not prioritise only the players. It cultivates a sense of unity within the community. Families, friends and supporters are expected to come through to cheer on the young athletes, thus creating a warm and positive environment.

Participating teams

  1. Union Prep Schools Boys
  2. Goats FC Mixed 1
  3. Goats FC Mixed 2
  4. Jose Mourinho FC Girls
  5. Jose Mourinho FC Boys
  6. Dangerous Darkies FC Boys
  7. Birds United FC Mixed
  8. Birds United FC Boys
  9. Isibane Primary Mixed
  10. Mountain View FC Boys
  11. Thembalisizwe Primary Boys
  12. Thembalisizwe Primary
error: Sorry ol' chap, those shenanigans are not permissible.