Youth Day soccer tournament to promote gender equality

Youth Day in South Africa commemorates the bravery of students who defended their right to equal education during the 1976 Soweto Riots. Thursday, June 16th 2016 marked the 40th anniversary of their impact in transforming South African education.

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Black Roses (girls) from Gugulethu entering the pitch

To celebrate Youth Day, Africa Unite (AU), partnered with the Gugulethu Sport Complex Facility Management Committee and stakeholders to hold a soccer tournament to bring Gugulethu youth together.  The tournament was held on June 16 2016 at the Gugulethu Sport Complex from 9am- 5pm. Over a 100 young people attended the tournament and cheered on their teams.

The purpose of the event was to foster a safe environment for both the female and male genders. Mixed gender teams were given the platform to participate in the tournament as a way of promoting gender equality.

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Some of the youth and community members signing the commitment pledge

The event was opened by the Head Coach of the Gugulethu Indoor Soccer Club, Lungile Ntwanambi and the Singamakhalipha Programme Manager Silindokuhle Hlazo with a message uniting the young people to advocate for gender equality in their community.

10 teams were present and 9 matches played to the finals. The opening match was that of

the Black Roses (girls) for Gugulethu against Singamakhalipha (boys) in which the girls beat the boys team 6-0. In this match the Black Roses really showed that if given the opportunity and a lot of practice girls/ women can excel in sport.

The winners of the tournament left with the Cup and 8 individual trophies plus R1000 whilst the second runner ups left with a R500 prize.

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Match day winners pause with their trophies and cheque

It was one Youth Day celebration well commemorated as much discipline and team work was shown by both team players and the spectators. After all the activities were concluded, the young men and women present went on to sign pledge committing them to leading community conversations that promote gender equality and social cohesion. We believe South Africa has a brighter future lying ahead if the energy and determination of the young people is directed to more positive activities such as these.

We would like to say a big thank you to the Gugulethu Indoor Soccer Club for working with us on this initiative.

For more pictures click here.

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