Alex girl children target of ‘Train 4 Life programme’

The Train 4 Life programme, an initiative targeted at six Alexandra high schools, will change the lives of 1 800 young girls.

The initiative, the brainchild of Volkswagen, aims to encourage healthy habits and passions through a girls-only soccer league and a life skills education programme.

Volkswageng’s Steffen Knapp said the car manufacturer believes sport, especially soccer, serves as more than just a game. “Soccer has the potential to play a vital role in youth development, as a tool to help facilitate individual and team growth while building healthy passions and habits,” said Knapp.

“Providing young girls with a safe platform to embrace their soccer talents and the benefits of team spirit is a core purpose of our Volkswagen Train 4 Life initiative.”

Former Banyana Banyana captain Simphiwe “Shorty” Dludlu, who is from Alexandra, has been brought in to help train the young girls.

Dludlu said: “My personal goal is to empower young girls through soccer so that we can grow both the sport and the dreams of young girls in a positive environment.

“The Volkswagen Train 4 Life initiative allows me to follow this ambition with the girls from my home community in Alexandra, one of the toughest training grounds in the world.”

Dludlu will recruit players from the current league of girls to form her own team that she will take to the Volkswagen Vaya Cup, a national youth soccer league for boys and girls that will be held in December.

The life skills education portion of the programme, designed to help grade 8 girl learners at six participating schools, is set to kick-start in April. The workshops will impart valuable life skills on topics such as personal hygiene, self-defence and road safety.

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