South African soccer legend Lucas Radebe is thrilled about the upcoming fourth instalment of the ET Radebe Schools Tournament. The schools tournament, which takes place in Radebe’s hometown of Diepkloof, Soweto is a day-long soccer and netball youth tournament.
Taking place on Saturday, 20 July, Radebe continues to use the tournament with the aim of intensifying interest and participation in sport among the local youth as well as continue to revive school’s sports in Soweto. The ET Radebe Schools Tournament is in honour of his late mother, Emily Thlaleng Radebe.
The brainchild of the former Bafana Bafana and Leeds United captain, who was also born in Diepkloof, will see eight secondary schools from Soweto – seven from Diepkloof and one from Meadowlands – compete for honours in a straight knockout format in soccer and netball.
“I’m delighted with the growth this tournament has seen in just three years. My family and I saw this idea of staging this tournament as the perfect platform for giving back to our community by leveraging the power of sport to keep the youth away from social evils, promoting fitness and healthier lifestyles as well as producing a new generation of sporting heroes,” said Radebe.
Added Radebe: I hope this year’s edition will continue seeking grassroots football and netball talent as Soweto has a rich history for unearthing fine talent. School’s sport continues to be a great contributor to the early development of an athlete’s career.
I’ve always wanted to better serve the people and scholars of Diepkloof, not only by unearthing future soccer and netball stars, but also to honour my late mother”.
The man nicknamed “The Chief” during his stay at Leeds United, hopes that the young boys and girls participating on the day derive significant educational and developmental value through their interactions and appreciate the opportunity to come together in the spirit of camaraderie.
Matches will be played in a knockout format from the start and are scheduled to kick-off at 8:30am followed by the semi-finals at midday – both the football and netball sections. The finals are scheduled to commence at 2pm. For the first time this year, there will be a legends game – for the both the soccer and netball sections – as the curtain-raiser ahead of the final to take place at 1pm.
The winning school will receive a floating trophy and medals, while there will also be individual player awards presented after the final. With development academies and representatives of professional clubs likely to attend, there is every possibility of some of the best talent on display being scouted.
Some of the companies involved with the tournament this year include Gift of the Givers, who will provide goodie bags and lunch for the learners, with Coca-Cola the hydration partner while adidas is the kit sponsor. The Department of Environmental Affairs is also involved in the tournament to highlight the Presidential Good green Deeds Program.
The tournament will once again take place at the Diepkloof Zone 5 Grounds opposite Diepkloof Square. Besides the sporting action, there will also be live music and entertainment galore throughout the day.
Schools participating in the ET Radebe Schools Tournament:
Madibane Secondary School (Diepkloof)
Diepdale Secondary School (Diepkloof)
Bopasenatla Secondary School (Diepkloof)
Immaculate Secondary School (Diepkloof)
Fidelitas Secondary School (Diepkloof)
Fonsluminas Secondary School (Diepkloof)
Namedi Secondary School (Diepkloof)
Kelekitso High School (Meadowlands)