Women’s club to ride on backs of Kick4Life

Women’s club to ride on backs of Kick4Life

Maseru – Part of Kick4Life’s mission is to introduce football to the underprivileged and to use the beautiful game to uplift communities.

This drive has been at the club’s core since it was formed in 2007 and last week Kick4Life added another notch to its belt by launching a partnership with Motšeo, an aspiring women’s football team in Old Europa.

Motšeo is a newly-formed project itself.

The club was only founded in March by Mapulane Phohleli Tsikoane seeking to spread women’s football and invigorate Old Europa’s surrounding communities.

Among the club’s aims is to encourage the community, especially women, to use sport to fight challenges such as gender inequality and to live healthy lifestyles.

Many of the women who make up Motšeo have never played football before but the club’s enthusiasm thus far has been infectious.

One of those impressed is Kick4Life director Chris Bullock who became a driving force behind this newly-formed partnership after meeting Motšeo’s management three months ago.

“When the women came to present the idea (of the partnership) I saw an amazing concept which really excited me,” Bullock said.

“I am very thankful to be working together with the team and I wish nothing but good luck to them. They are committed and passionate about using football as a tool to engage women in sports to bring social changes and football development.”

The partnership between Kick4Life and Motšeo is the first of its kind in the country.

One of its many highlights will see the Premier League club provide technical expertise. For example, Kick4Life assistant coach Elizabeth Yelimala, who holds a CAF A-License qualification, will train Motšeo.

Motšeo will also benefit from Kick4Life’s top-class facilities and the clubs will collaborate on further initiatives to empower women.

“Sport is an area in which we can leverage our partnerships and engagement with different audiences,” Bullock said.

“We can teach everyone that gender-based violence has no place in sport – on or off the field – or anywhere else in our lives and that a future where all playing fields are truly level for women and girls can be achieved.”

The challenges ahead excite Motšeo administrator Maleshoane Mokhathi.

She said the club wants to provide high-level football training, raise funds, host competitions and to provide academic support to inner-city women and girls in Maseru.

Motšeo is using football to create a safe space where social issues can be discussed, she added.

“It is through sports that women learn life skills that relate to success in other arenas,” Mokhathi said. “We also want to give the participants the confidence to use their voice and fight against some of the challenges women face.”

Some of these challenges include HIV/AIDS, teen pregnancy and violence against girls and women.

Kick4Life and Motšeo hope to use football as a vehicle for educating, empowering and equipping women with “a strong sense of ownership and self-esteem”.

“It is safe to say that progression of our gender has moved side-by-side if not directly because of our accomplishments in sports as women,” Mokhathi added. “I am sure women and the public at large can benefit immensely from these activities.”

Mosiuoa Frantsi

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