Vodacom NXT LVL ran an online scout campaign that encouraged girls and boys between the ages of 14 and 16 to record themselves completing a set of soccer drills and upload the video to their website. Over a thousand videos were submitted and the top 100 spent a week at the Vodacom NXT LVL Boot Camp, High Performance Centre where they underwent scientific tests, received intense training and good coaching.
Four days into that camp the players were trimmed from 100 to 32, divided into two groups of 16 who played for a full bursary at TuksSport High School. The 16 bursaries will cover their education until they matriculate and the runner ups each received R50 000 paid towards their education through a fund administered by the Vodacom Foundation.
The top 32 contestants spent the day at Gold Reef City in Ormonde the Friday leading up to the final match and although the Anaconda was being repaired that day, they still had loads of fun together and one could tell that the group had built close friendships with one another.
“I have been working hard for this opportunity,” said Diteboho Mothabeng (16) “I knew that my parents couldn’t afford to bring me to such a school. I had to work hard to come here. This is a huge achievement for me because I have always wanted to come to Tuks because one of my friends came here and told me how amazing it is here.”
Vodacom’s Marketing Manager Deidre Lodwig said: “Vodacom takes education very seriously. It’s one of the aspects that we see as critical for children. We’ve spent a lot of money investing in educational websites, giving children tools to learn and grow. We have realized that a lot of children in South Africa don’t have access to quality education. When we went on a talent search to discover these children, we saw that a lot of come from schools that are gang-ridden. Giving them the gift of education was always the first prize for us. We want to take them to a quality school that promotes education and sport. Education was our main goal. That’s why the runners up received R50 000 towards their education. We wanted to also give them an opportunity to learn.”
Images: Vodacom NXT LVL