Both teams went into the final play-offs in Gugulethu confident that they could take home the coveted title with Lwazi making it three in a row having won the event in 2012 and 2013. The Lwazi boys’ team finished second with 24 points and Sonwabo third with 16 points.
The girls team from Luzuko finished second with 21 points followed by Sokhanyo also with 21 points, but with a vastly inferior goal difference, while Lehlohonolo took third place with another 21 point total.
During the finals at the NU2 Stadium in Motherwell, Port Elizabeth Empumalanga boys’ team showed they were true champions finishing convincingly first with 21 points, followed by Imbasa with 16 points and Mboniselo in third place with 14 points.
The girls team from Mboniselo however clinched the top spot with 18 points, followed by Melisizwe second with 16 points and Enkwenkwezini in a close third with 15 points.
Going into the playoff in KZN, the boys’ teams of Emthetweni, Thamela and Inkonkoni were all on 18 points, but Emthetweni clinched the title with 21 points and a 28-point goal diffence. Thamela logged 21 points and finished second with a 22 point goal difference followed by Inkonkoni third with 19 points. The Emthetweni girls’ team finished top of their log with 27 points, followed by Isipingo with 24 points and Gokul with 17.
Following an exciting soccer season and a jam-packed finals in Soweto, the Boiknayo boys’ team and the Magaret Gwele girls’ teams were crowned champions both logging 24 points. The boys’ teams of Enkolweni and Senyamo finished respectively second and third with a close 22 and 21 points. Makgwarane girls were second with 20 points followed by Thathezakho girls with 17 points.
Teachers, local coaches and players participated in a nine-week series during which 10 schools entered their top teams with kids aged between nine and 13 years.
Khakhi Diala of the Spur Group said: “We started with 12 one-day coaching clinics in 2005, but the league has grown steadily and has highlighted the huge need for initiatives that provide a platform for youth development. Although numbers are limited to 200 participants per region, we have managed to drastically improve the level of skills training for both coaches and learners.”
He added: “Soccer is just the tool we’re using. Our goal is to empower both the coaches and the kids with important life skills, which will equip them to be role models in their communities long after the Spur Masidlale league comes to a close.”
Spur also put R10 000 up for grabs in a fun soccer skill competition hosted at the JHB and Cape Town finals. Cape-based participants included: Cecil Lolo representing the Baphumelele Childrens Home, Thando Mngomeni representing Red Cross Childrens Hospital burn unit and Thabo Mngomeni representing the Chesire Childrens Home in Langa. Thabo’s experience provided the edge he needed to secure a very welcome R10 000 donation to Chesire Childrens Home.
At the Soweto finals Fabian McCarthy for Njabulo Childrens home in Maraisburg and Happy Jele representing Kwa Thema Stimulation Centre in Springs gave it their best shot, but it was Helman Mkelele, who walked off with R10 000 for his chosen charity - Hands of Compassion.