Chippa United Football Club made their first ever appearance at the National Arts Festival hosted in Grahamstown from 29 June to July, 9.
The National Arts Festival is an important event on the South African cultural calendar, with tourists from all over the world visiting Grahamstown, 110 km from Port Elizabeth.
This year the Department of Sports Arts, Culture and Recreation in the Eastern Cape introduced football as part of the event.
Close to 150 aspiring soccer players attended coaching clinics conducted by Chippa United coaches, Head Coach Dan Malesela , Teboho Moloi and Mbuyiselo Sambu on the 2nd and 8th July respectively.
Malesela also opened a Q & A session for the young athletes, while a talk on life skills was also delivered to the young footballers from Makana Local Municipality.
MEC Pemmy Majodina who was in attendance together with Department officials, and local football authorities paid a glowing tribute to Chippa United for accepting an invitation to attend the international event.
“The importance of Chippa United attending this event was massive for the aspiring athletes here,” she said.
“You could see on the children’s faces, the way they lit up as the Technical Team arrived here.
“We introduced football for the first time and we admit there were some glitches here and there, and we will do more come next year.
” I would like to thank the Makana Local Football Association, National Arts Festival organizers, the young ones and Chippa United for their continued commitment in the development of sport in the province,” added MEC Majodina.
Malesela who also took questions from the local coaches encouraged the young footballers to take football seriously and emphasized the importance of discipline.
He cited some of the challenges he faced trying to break into the star studded Orlando Pirates side in the mid 80s where he later became Club’s youngest captain in history.
Head of Communications & Marketing Luthando Zibeko reiterated the Club’s commitment to the development of sport in the province.
“The difference between a Football Club and a Team is social responsibility. We are a football Club, and servicing our communities plays a major role in what we do.
“It is a supreme honor to have been invited to the event as a Club in this year’s National Arts Festival, not only to make numbers but to give hope to the next generation of footballers,” added Zibeko.