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OFFICIAL club website of stoke city

Stoke City Community Trust Return From South Africa Trip

A GROUP of Stoke City Community Trust coaches and volunteers have arrived back in the Potteries following the trip of a lifetime.

Four coaches alongside four volunteers selected by the Community Trust teamed up with Stoke-on-Trent College and City of Stoke Sixth Form College to take part in the 'Challenge South Africa' project.

Challenge South Africa aims to raise awareness of equality and diversity on an international level while assisting with young people's personal and social development. The ultimate aim is to make local young people more employable.

The Potters used the power of football and the value of sports participation to help youngsters in disadvantaged areas of Cape Town. Alongside students from both Colleges, Stoke City also took part in a range of initiatives including working in a soup kitchen, handing out food parcels in a local township to the most needy and visiting Robben Island.

Stoke City Community Trust Operations and Kicks Manager Ben Gibson said: "Stoke City are very thankful to be given the opportunity to make a difference to the lives of underprivileged young people in Cape Town.

"As part of the trip, we donated sports equipment to Talfalah Primary School as well as providing local community coaches with the tools to be able to deliver their own local football projects in the future.

"We would like to thank Talfalah Primary School, in particular the principal Mr Karriem, who welcomed our staff and volunteers into the school to deliver coaching sessions to their children, as well as hosting an introduction to community coaching course which was delivered by local coach educators recommended by the Premier League.

Calvin Austin from Stoke on Trent College expressed: "I am delighted we have further developed our partnership with Stoke City Community Trust. The Challenge South Africa project has allowed young people from the local community to gain new skills and an insight into life the deprived communities of South Africa. I am pleased the coaching sessions delivered by the staff and volunteers were a success and look forward to planning our next visit.

During the visit, the Community Trust worked in partnership with OASIS, a non-governmental organisation, to host a 'Football Frenzy Tournament' which aimed to bring local communities together through football. The Trust would like to thank KMF who provided 100 football kits so local boys from the most disadvantaged areas could take part.

OASIS have operated in Cape Town and Western Cape for 16 years and run social development projects including street soccer, sports coaching and feeding schemes that aim to reintegrate marginalised individuals in their society.

Clifford Martinus of OASIS added: "Oasis is like a waterhole within a desolate area and we invite people to come here to gain opportunities for personal development through the mechanism of sport involvement.

"We were delighted to link up with Stoke City who supported our 'Football Frenzy Tournament' which aimed to increase the level of understanding of the basic life skills of fair play, respect and conflict resolution.

"We hope to develop and sustain this partnership in the future and look forward to the Club's return next year."

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