BY KEDIBONE MOLAETSI
THE Chairperson of Thuso Sports Development Centre (T.S.D.C) in Pampierstad, Thuso Phecheni said he is obsessed about sport development especially in rural areas. He said sport plays pivotal role within the society.
“Sport teaches us about life skills, teaches us about character, and provides a family and emotional escape. Most of us have applied skills we learnt from sport in our everyday lives. You also learn about time management, dedication and determination.
“I run a non-profit organisation called T.S.D.C. which aims to empower pupils through sport. We also address the importance of education, youth and community development,” Phecheni said.
A Motsweding village-born man said he was prompted by challenges facing the pupils in a daily life to establish the foundation. Phecheni, 36 further said that the youth are the most vulnerable group within the society.
“Many of the youth no longer realise the important of sports. They spend most of their time indulging in drugs, alcohol, sex and crime. Most of the things they indulge in are not important. We have abundance of talent which goes unnoticed in our province. However lack of exposure is the main reason for that.
“Our province is not well-represented especially in soccer. Taung and North West province have few soccer players trading their talents in the elite league, Premier Soccer League (PSL). We have players capable to compete with the best in the country,” he said.
Phecheni further said North West province has never been represented during International Olympic Games. Pampierstad-based man took his soccer team to play with Soweto giants, Orlando Pirates Development team recently.
“Our Under 13 soccer team had a sizzling practise match against Orlando Pirates’ Under 13 team. We also played against a local team in Westbury Township, in Johannesburg.
“Westbury Township produced the legendary players like former Bafana Bafana skipper, Steven Pienaar and others despite the challenges. Our boys won both games and that showed that we have talent. We will continue to monitor the talent and polish it. The aim is to produce players with international standard,” Phecheni said.
He added that: “We have realised that not all pupils excel academically. Pupils also need to be encouraged to follow their passion. They could also use their talent to better their lives and families. The support and monitoring will have an impact in reducing unemployment, poverty and inequality.
“The success of these youngsters will not only benefit them, but will also boost our economy and put our province on the map. We also aiming at building the centre that will capacitate the youth. The youth need to understand the importance of sport in the pursuit of a healthy and active lifestyle.”
“We develop and appreciate the concepts of fair play. We also promote honesty in any competition and good sportsmanship. We also have the capacity to maintain interest in sports. We prepare each pupil to be able to participate fully in the competitive, recreational and leisure opportunities offered outside the school environment,” he said.
Phecheni added that his organisation develop self-esteem and self-confidence through positive sporting experience. He further said education is very imperative.
“Being employed by University of Johannesburg, I’ve realised many challenges faced by our youth. Most pupils are technologically disadvantaged because of their background. The method of learning is computerized at the higher learning institutions.
“I also donated computers few computers to few schools in the area. We have also received numerous request of assistance from many schools. However, we were unable to reach out to many because of financial constraints. We have not received any funding from government yet, and we running the organisation from our own pockets,” he said.
Phecheni said he will organise a career exhibition for Grade 12s across Taung soon. He further said anyone who would like to donate anything to the foundation is welcome.