Mallory Primm
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Sonneyboy

July 7, 2009 @ 3:30 AM | Permalink

A few days ago I had coffee with my soccer coach, Sonneyboy (yes that’s his real name). I think that Sonneyboy is a real community hero, so I thought I’d share a bit of that with you!

Our coach, Sonneyboy, drive my team to every game. Recently, he arrived behind the wheel of the team Kombie in a white Gilligan’s hat. He’s energetic and smiling as usual. Sonneyboy took over the team seven years after its inception in 1994. He first witnessed the Ladies playing in a friendly match against a boys team and “saw they had such a talent.” When the Ladies beat the boys team for a second time, Sonneyboy knew “there was no query” about these Ladies’ talent.

Since then he’s been fighting the Football Association of Swaziland to take women’s football seriously. He’s proud to have created a real soccer program out of the Kappa Ladies, especially the fact that he established a bank account for the team, although he admits, “I don’t know where the money comes from.” And, in fact, filling that bank account, to fund petrol to get to games, to buy equipment, and to renew the visas of the international players on the team, has been his biggest challenge.

Sonneyboy works as a panel-beater and inspector for government vehicles. After work he joins the girls for trainings and when he has to work late, his wife makes sure the team gets the practice equipment they need. Sometimes he gains sponsorships from local businessmen and even one of the King’s daughters. But usually he pays for much of the expense of running the successful team out of his own pocket.

But Sonneyboy feels like the scrambling for funds to support this Swazi soccer team is his “social responsibility.” He sees the team as a way to build women’s confidence and give women the opportunity to explore their talents as athletes so that the women can know that “with sport, they can go far.” The same sense of community responsibility that keeps Sonneyboy working so hard, he tries to instill in his players by taking them on community building projects, such as building houses for underprivileged Swazis. These community projects and all the hard work and effort the players and the coach put into Kappa Ladies has made the team, “not just football players, but family.”

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A good lesson for us all

Nicolle OConnor on Country Western and other Music in Swaziland 2009-06-11

just wondering if you have published any results?

David Broska on Into the Field 2010-06-19
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