This month a dream came true for 13 year old Gift Gumede when he was offered a soccer bursary at Glenwood High school in Durban.
Gift has been part of the African Bank Footy development programme, a programme specifically designed to improve the lives of underprivileged children through sport, since 2010. He also participated in the Amazulu Futurestars programme and last year was an integral part of the Ballito Football Club u/15 team.
Kyle Crichton, owner and founder of KZN Footy, says that from the start of the Footy programme, Gift has always worked hard at training and listened intently to what the coaches had to tell him on the soccer field. “We are so proud of Gift. He is such a respectful child towards his coaches and teachers and simply exudes personality around his team mates. Most importantly he has matured into a brilliant soccer player, with good academic marks and a will to work hard and commit to everything he puts his mind to. This bursary, valued at R100 000,00, is a great step in helping to fulfill his dreams of one day being able to play professional soccer. It is also a wonderful opportunity to study at such a reputable school.”
Glenwood Soccer Coach, Khaya Gwala, comments, “What I have seen so far from Gift is a well-mannered boy from humble beginnings who is determined to make the most of every opportunity given to him. We are very excited to have him join us.”
Kennedy Dembetembe, African Bank’s National CSI Manager says that Gift is a shining example of just what can be achieved with hard work and determination. “The Footy programme is such an uplifting programme, particularly when we can see these kind of results. This is truly the ultimate goal of what we try to achieve through our CSI programmes. It is great to see that when you give a small opportunity to an ambitious young learner, he/she can achieve so much, making a huge impact on their future. In the last year through the various CSI programmes at African Bank we have seen learners on our Maths intervention programmes go from a 10% aggregate to 80% in just over two years. We have seen two of our Eastern Cape netball players receive bursaries at reputable schools, and today we celebrate this incredible opportunity Gift has been given through our Football programme,” concludes Dembetembe.