For football stars and now development coaches in Johannesburg have lauded the Peppy Thomas Foundation school sport tournament.
The tourney saw eight locals schools battle it out for glory at the Winter Rose Stadium in Mdantsane.
The legends and coaches felt that there’s still room for improvement when it comes to sports development at provincial and national level.
Former Bafana Bafana attacking midfielder Jabulani Mendu said the schools sports competition was long overdue.
“They have started such a great initiative and all we need to do as people of the city and us legends is to help them by getting soccer coaches.
“These boys need to be coached and mentored by people that played football and who understand the sport, because in the age group that they are in right now, its a crucial stage of growth.”
Mendu said knowledge in sports was very imperative if the country wanted to see results in development.
He said what pained him the most was a lack of rural sports development programmes where children are afforded the same training as those living in the more affluent communities.
Mendu said the lack of involvement of parents was another detrimental factor to rural sport development and that there is too much of a “nice time these days”.
“Our problem is excuses like ‘I need a sponsor to start my own thing’ because you don’t need a cent when you want to start a soccer club for instance.
“You get every parent that has a child in your team and ask them to buy a ball and kit for their kids and that would most probably set them back less than R500.
“Besides everything our youth out there is busy with parties, music concerts and they don’t get bored like we used to and that’s another issue parents need to address so we can move forward.”
Fabian McCarthy reminisced about the good old days when he was once standing at his school assembly when he was motivated by his role models.
“One would listen and go with that advice but the thing is how are you going to use that advice to improve your life,” said McCarthy.
“The city as a whole has a lot of talent; it is just a matter of looking at the facilities which is a problem all over Mzansi but I think that this is a municipality where any sport they support they are not focusing mainly on boxing which is most loved in the area.”
He continued: “What I have seen here is raw talent which we can work with but not help them become professionals. We don’t want to promise them that but that going pro depends on them.”
McCarthy said the pupils should combine their studies with sport as there are many opportunities available out there for them.
“There’s varsity sports where kids can get bursaries to study for a degree because these kids need to get educated too,” he said.
“ Lets not use our backgrounds as an excuse but let our backgrounds motivate us to better our situations or where we come from. When you’re good come back to townships like PTM has done today,” McCarthy added.