Melkbos Rangers United held their awards evening last week, celebrating and showing appreciation to the young boys’ efforts over the past year.
The event was held at Melkbosstrand SAPS and was attended by around 40 of the club’s players, including Melkbosstrand Community Police Forum chairperson, Samie Kleinhans, owner of the coaching academy Sports Excellence, Braham van Wyk, Nicci Venter from Remax and Melkbosstrand SAPS’ Constable Constable Debbie Allard.
The event was hosted at one of the lecture rooms at Melkbosstrand SAPS on Wednesday December 12.
Mr Van Wyk said the evening would not have been a success had it not been for the efforts of the players themselves and the role played by stakeholders like SAPS and the CPF.
“The club is picking up and we are trying to create something good here. I grew up in Melkbos and sports was my life as I was headed for a path of destruction and getting involved with the wrong crowd.
“I hope that this club can help some of these boys just like sports helped me and they can make something great with their lives,” he said.
Melkbos Rangers United was started in Ogieskraal Farm informal settlement back in 2006 but over the years, the club’s momentum slowed down. Ten years later, Melkbosstrand SAPS took an interest in the club, wanting to get a “Sport Against Crime” initiative off the ground.
According to Constable Debbie Allard of Melkbosstrand SAPS, the aim of getting involved in the club was to help reduce crime in the area and also help keep the children off the streets.
“The club is open to all residents and interested parties of Melkbos but we wanted to target the underprivileged areas in and around Melkbos.
“Unfortunately, the club doesn’t participate in any league but we have plans for next year to get them registered and playing in a league. This will be possible with the assistance of local businesses and private residents who would like to lend a hand,” she said.
Nicci Venter from Remax said the community was very proud of the players and all the hard work they had shown over the past year.
“Given the circumstances that some of these kids grow up in, it’s heartwarming to see how they put that behind them and work hard to change their situation. It’s important for the whole community to take a strong interest in these kids,” she said.
During the course of the evening, all the speakers stressed that while it was important to get involved in sport, the children should not neglect their schooling.