HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Kicking Off Change

A sports tournament is helping kids make better life choices – with a little help from Madiba.

 

To honor Nelson Mandela’s – or Madiba’s – legacy, TCS South Africa (Pty) in partnership with Inner City Ambassadors (ICA) has been hosting an annual soccer event in his memory since 2010. Participants in this event – the Mandela Day Cup (MDC) – include children from the disadvantaged communities of Johannesburg’s inner city and its surrounding areas. Each year, MDC provides close to 500 players from 80 soccer teams an opportunity to showcase their skills, while also emphasizing the importance of teamwork, discipline, and fair play.

Through this tournament, ICA has managed to keep close to 1,600–1,900 youngsters from orphanages, shelters, schools, and communities across Johannesburg, Tshwane, and Ekurhuleni engaged during their winter holidays each year. In addition, the event keeps them away from harmful influences during their formative years. And the results are there for all to see: some of the players have gone on to join Premier League soccer clubs. MDC 2017 saw a total of 216 teams participate, with a TCS team playing a curtain-raiser against a team from the Johannesburg police department.