Girls team for Homeless World Cup

05 April 2016 - 02:22 By Aron Hyman

South Africa will send its first all-girl soccer team to the Homeless World Cup in Scotland this year. Last year the men's team finished fifth out of 64 teams at the games in Amsterdam.Griszelda Magosi has made it to the second round of trials that could see her making a success of her life - something her late grandmother had always wanted."I grew up without a mother and a father. I used to live by my grandma, so when she passed away it was kind of hard for me," said Magosi.She said that at 16 she started using tik and mandrax."All I want is a bright future. I wasted a lot of my time doing drugs. I'm now four months clean, so I'm excited," said the 27-year-old.If chosen she will be part of an eight-player squad that will travel to Glasgow in July.Western Cape arts and culture MEC Anroux Marais will help with funding. Last year her department pledged R100 000 to the men's team."If our youth are occupied with positive development programmes they can be deemed youth with potential rather than youth at risk as antisocial activities such as substance abuse and gangsterism fail to become a priority," said Marais.The world cup has a street soccer format with four players on each side and four on the bench.Teams must meet certain criteria, including having been homeless at "some point in the last year", "currently in drug or alcohol rehabilitation", or an asylum seeker.Team manager Clifford Martinus from Oasis, the organising committee for SA's homeless teams, says the game teaches players life lessons.Former Americans gang member Eugene Minords is also a candidate for the men's team.Although he has been clean for three years he says he is still struggling to gain his daughters' trust but he hopes that by competing overseas he can show them he has changed.

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