A space for personal growth

It is no secret that football in our country is not in the best state. Our clubs at the community level lack basic business or admin structures, let’s not even mention the life skills coaching or development plans, rather the lack thereof.

How is our youth supposed to grow through the system and reach their dreams when our clubs aren’t structured to allow that?

One thing that makes Exuberoot unique is our strong focus on #Holistic development. Our environment is designed for us to connect on an intimate level to really get to know each other. This allows us to understand and address the core issues which could be blocking your growth.

We have so many talented players, especially on the Cape Flats. I think we often forget that these talented kids are also normal human beings that face heartache, temptation, and adversity on a daily basis. Are they equipped to deal with that? Emotionally and mentally do they understand? What are they turning to in order to take the pain away? Who are they looking up to and what behavior are they replicating which they perceive as “normal”?

We were privileged to work with a special player a few weeks ago, Ghomade Africa.

Ghomade is a very talented 17-year-old attacking footballer. His previous club, Cape Umoya released him due to him not being "focused and seeming lost." This on its own shows how much our so-called "academies" care for their players and invest in their emotional wellbeing, but let's not get into that, that is a conversation for another day.

The boy has currently been training with FN Rangers before COVID19 happened. I personally know Ghomade from my time at Old Mutual Academy where he has played since U12. His dad has been his biggest supporter and was a great role model for how a good sports parent should be.

Sadly last year September, his dad passed away. He had a heart attack on the field while playing an over40 soccer match, in full view of his son, Ghomade.

It hasn’t been the same for Ghomade since then. To make it worse, your club releases you then COVID19 happens which meant no football and that left our youth with little options.

Ghomade didn’t know how to deal with his broken heart. He didn’t have his best friend to go kickball with, take him to train, or help him believe he is a champion.

Fast forward a few months, Ghomade found himself lost mentally and emotionally. Not much zest for life, little motivation, and developed some bad habits along the way. The thing that was very clear though was his strong desire to want to be better and take back his life. We decided to take Ghomade in for a week to help clear his mind and plant some positive seeds. We hosted him in the chalets at our home venue, Ygoals where we run our programs.

Here's how that went in his own words,

When I first came here I really expected it to be boring and I thought I would want to leave again. Coach Angelo and Riyaaz were with me every day, they really helped me a lot and made me feel comfortable.

The whole week with them really taught me that I can change and be a better person; I just need to stay focused on what I want. I feel very good now because I can see where I want to be and I know I can achieve it.

I learned new skills and habits that will help take me closer to my goals. Stuff like writing out a routine or plan for the day, reading books when I’m bored, or going for a run. I learned that it is important who I am around and who I talk to about my goals and dreams. I used to think I don’t have support or people to motivate me after my father died but now I see that I have the support from the coaches at Exuberoot and my family at home.

The 5 days with them really changed things for me and allowed me to believe in myself again.

I feel very light, motivated, and ready to make my mom and family proud.” - Ghomade Africa

His short term goal is to get back to full fitness in order to successfully trail with Ubuntu Academy.



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