Unisa online - Unisa urged to partner with SAFA for football development
Greg Fredericks (General Manager of the 2010 Fifa World Cup Legacy Trust) accepts the Commonwealth Youth and Development Journal from Prof Louis Molamu (University Registrar).
General Manager of the 2010 Fifa World Cup Legacy Trust, Greg Fredericks has urged Unisa to partner with the South African Football Association (SAFA) because of the vast contributions that higher education institutions can make to the development of South African football.
Fredericks was invited to Unisa on 25 June 2012 to receive the second issue of the Commonwealth Youth and Development Journal, which was handed to him by Unisa Registrar, Prof Louis Molamu, on behalf of Unisa Executive Management.
The Commonwealth Youth and Development Journal contains papers presented at academic seminars which were hosted together with soccer clinics as part of the Unisa – Vrije Universiteit (VU), Amsterdam, soccer project in 2010. The collaborative soccer project embarked on various soccer initiatives in the Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal in support of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
The journal includes a range of scholarly articles, research reports and case studies on topics relating to football, education and youth development. Themes explored include nation building, unsupervised Digital Doorway computing environments, community participation in addressing the plight of child-headed households, soccer players teaching religious values, and the role of private security during the2010 FIFA World Cup.
Greg Fredericks (General Manager of the 2010 Fifa World Cup Legacy Trust) accepts the Commonwealth Youth and Development Journal from Siza Magubane (Unisa’s Director for International Relations and Project Coordinator for the Unisa–VU 2010 soccer project) and Prof Louis Molamu (University Registrar).
The Commonwealth Youth and Development Journal, published by Unisa Press, ensures that the legacy of the Unisa–VU soccer project lives on. In addition, it supports Unisa’s ongoing commitment to strengthening relations with the South African football fraternity.
Fredericks said that there were many areas that academia could assist in football development. “Unisa and higher education institutions can be instrumental in football development by identifying areas where critical research is required; areas such as governance and administration … This relationship can also contribute to youth development and not just football itself.”
He also said that unlike rugby and cricket, there were very few South African schools which developed and nurtured up-and-coming soccer players who feed directly into the national football team. “There is not one former black school that has even 5% of the facilities that the cricket and rugby schools have,” he said.
Responding to the need for talent development, Fredericks said the R450-million 2010 Fifa World Cup Legacy Trust supports a wide range of public initiatives that harness football for sport development, education, health and humanitarian activities in South Africa. “We have already built 27 football pitches – three in each province – and the objective is to build 52 pitches in total. The purpose of this is for the improvement of South African football. In addition to the soccer pitches, we also have facilities for youth development and we are looking to grow that aspect, so youth can obtain knowledge on life skills, leadership, entrepreneurship, healthy lifestyles, and HIV/Aids. We want young people to see the value in these facilities,” he said.
Agreeing with him, Prof Molamu said “sport is absolutely critical and there is an urgent need for the relationship between higher education and sport to be nurtured and grown,”.
Ms Siza Magubane, Unisa’s Director for International Relations and Project Coordinator for the Unisa–VU 2010 soccer project said Unisa was keen on embarking on a partnership with SAFA because of the contributions the university can make with its research, teaching and learning and community engagement. “The soccer 2010 project was premised on nation building using sport-soccer in this instance. As a university, Unisa is committed to the development of sport because we believe that sport is linked to many other developmental aspects of a child. We want to link sport and its developmental facets with academia to contribute to the development of our nation.” She said future plans include similar soccer clinics and academic seminars in the build up to the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
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