The ground-breaking initiative specifically targeted at former football professionals is a unique concept created by the betting brand with the aim of continuing to touch the lives of local communities since arriving in South Africa just over a year ago.
Appropriately titled in football terms as the 12th Man, the Betway-sponsored initiative will see 10 former footballers (male & female) embarking on a life-changing six-month journey which will see them graduate with a variety of skills and qualifications to increase their chances of employment.
During this period, Betway alongside the programme’s anchor, Lucas Radebe will invite various industry experts from the fields of coaching, broadcast, finances and event management to endow the former players with practical skills for them to plough back in their communities.
Speaking at the launch of the programme in Johannesburg on Tuesday evening, Betway’s marketing Manager, David Rachidi said the brand was excited about launching such a life-changing initiative.
“We are honoured to be launching such a powerful programme. Betway takes pride in making a meaningful difference in South African communities. Through such a compelling initiative, we look forward to honouring and upskilling our former football heroes who have done so much for the country” said an elated Rachidi.
The six-month programme which is set to get underway from the 20th of February will see the former players kicking off the 12th Man campaign with a two-day Skills Acquisition course. Upon completing the Skills Acquisition course, the players will have an opportunity to further upskill themselves through the SAFA D License and KNVB coaching courses to receive an accredited SAFA approved entry-level coaching certificate.
Following understanding the basic intrinsic of coaching, the former stars will go on to complete a Club Administration and Project Management course that will reveal some of the behind-the-scenes planning that comes with running a professional club.
Betway 12th Man ambassador, Lucas Radebe said the initiative was dear to his heart, considering how a number of his former teammates have unfortunately been forgotten -even after doing so much for South African football.
“As a former footballer, I am honoured to lead such an important programme. During our playing days, very few of us had the privilege of getting good advice and as a result, life has been very difficult for a number of ex-professionals” said Radebe.
“I believe the Betway 12th Man is such an important initiative to give back to these legends who have invested so much in the game. Our football is where it is today because of the time and effort they gave and I have to applaud Betway for recognising and upskilling them in such an impactful manner” concluded the former Bafana Bafana captain.
The former players who will be part of the Betway 12th Man are:
1. Alfred Phiri: Former Jomo Cosmos, Genclerbiligi, Samsunspor, Ajax Cape Town, Moroka Swallows and Supersport United. Phiri is also Turkish Cup winner with Genclerbiligi and founder member of the Maimane Phiri Games (MAP).
2. Andries Mpondo: Moroka Swallows, he is the first player to score at the Old FNB Stadium Bobsave Super Cup winner – 1889, 1990 & 1991.
3. Edward Motale: Orlando Pirates– 1995 AFCON winner in 1996
4. Fikile Sithole Soweto Ladies Banyana Banyana- Played internationally against Sweden and Denmark
5. Portia Modise: Fortuna Hjorring, Palace Super Falcons, Croesus Ladies 124 national team caps Fotuna Hjorring top goal-scorer, First African Player to score 100 goals
6. Khabo ZItha Mamelodi Sundowns, Soweto Ladies, Banyana Banyana top goal-scorer (2001 – 2002), SASSU Coach of the year 2002
7. Gloria Hlalele: Soweto Ladies, Gothia Cup winner in Sweden.
8. Sibongile Khumalo: Soweto Ladies, Vodacom League winner 2005, Sanlam League Winner 2003-04, Gothia World Youth Champions 1993, COSAFA Champions 2002, SA Vice-captain 1993-2003
9. Steve Lekoelea: Orlando Pirates, Maritzburg United, Platinum Stars, Mbabane Highlanders , League Champions with Orlando Pirates 1999-2000, Top 8 champions with Orlando Pirates 2000, 10 Bafana Bafana caps
10. Steve Sekano: Moroka Swallows, Won two Bobsave Super Bowl Cups and founder of the Steve Sekano Foundation.
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