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Unisa and SAMLFA collaboration capacitates football players

A partnership inspired by the university’s vision "The African university shaping futures in the service of humanity", Unisa and the South African Masters and Legend Football Association (SAMLFA) extended their memorandum of agreement, which seeks to capacitate former men and women football players with requisite skills to help them sustain themselves and achieve a well-lived life after football. Once implemented, the project will consider the inclusion of current players as necessary.

Unisa-SAMLFA delegates (left to right): Peter Mahlangu (Unisa), Phuti Matlou (SAMLFA), Sibusiso Ntshangase (Unisa), Lydia Monyepao (SAFA CEO), Siza Magubane (Unisa), Buti "Buddha" Mathathe (SAMLFA President) and Malesiba Mabusela (Unisa)

Since signing the agreement, the Unisa-SAMLFA project received ethical clearance to assist with the collection of necessary data from the football legends. The project was launched in 2019 following a good collaboration with the Spanish Embassy in South Africa. However, the Covid-19 pandemic delayed the project, but it has been revived with a new academic project leader, Patrick Mahlangu, from Unisa College of Education's Department of Psychology of Education, and other academics from that department participating to strengthen its work.

The project has three phases. Phase one focused on planning, conceptualisation and launching, phase two focused on data collection and data analysis, and phase three focuses on designing interventions and implementation. Phase one and part of phase two were completed, advancing the project further. Once phase two is finalised, the third phase will be executed.  

At a meeting held recently attended by the recently appointed South African Football Association (SAFA) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Lydia Monyepao, it was agreed that this project should rapidly progress to address the urgent capacity needs of men and women in football. The project will include provision of Unisa informal (short learning programmes) and formal programmes (diplomas and degrees). It will further assist players to balance their educational and career lives.

Having been a protracted process, the Unisa-SAMLFA team appreciates support from Unisa representatives, including staff members from academic departments, those previously and currently involved, and SAMLFA representatives led by their President, Buti "Buddha" Mathathe, who is also SAFA’s Technical Committee member. We further appreciate SAFA, represented by its CEO. Both SAFA and SAMLFA eagerly look forward to the project’s implementation.

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* By Siza Magubane and Buti "Buddha" Mathathe, on behalf of Unisa Internationalisation and Partnerships and SAMLFA respectively

Publish date: 2023/06/08

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