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Soccer bonanza to drive road safety message

18 November 2019
At the draw were Madodana Kota, Victor Burton, Patrick Sacks, Sello Headbush, Zoleka Kota, Margot Burton and Leigh Sacks.

At the draw were Madodana Kota, Victor Burton, Patrick Sacks, Sello Headbush, Zoleka Kota, Margot Burton and Leigh Sacks.

Sixteen teams are gearing up for a soccer tournament with a difference.

The second Lukhanyo Memorial Soccer Tournament is set to take place at the Thornhill Sportfield from 29 November to 1 December this year. 

Chief organiser Madodana Kota said the tournament was more than just a showcase for local talent.

"It also serves as a road safety awareness campaign," he said. 

"Many young people from Thornhill, including my son, Lukhanyo, have lost their lives in road accidents.

"The tournament is a way to remember them and to warn those travelling on the roads this festive season to drive responsibly."

Lukhanyo was one of five teenagers who lost their lives in a horrific accident on the R102 near Thornhill in January 2016. He was just 15 years old.

"Lukhanyo loved soccer, so my wife and I decided to start this tournament in his memory and to combine it with a road safety message to help decrease the number of road accidents and deaths," Kota said.

Kouga Municipality's  Community Services Portfolio Councillor Daniel Benson commended the organisers for the initiative.

"Each one of us has a role to play when it comes to road safety. The tournament is a fun way to get across a very important message, especially ahead of the summer holidays when the number of vehicles on the roads increases dramatically, " he said.

The draw for the tourney recently took place at the Katrina Felix Hall in Thornhill. 

Master of Ceremonies Patrick Sacks saluted Kota for transforming a tragedy into a way of empowering others.

"Leaders come up with solutions and our community is blessed to have leaders with such vision," he said.

He further thanked Headbush Funeral Service and Victor Burton, convener of the Engen U17 Knockout Challenge, for their support of the tourney.

"The tournament has doubled in size compared to last year when we started off with only eight teams," he said. 

Entrance to the tournament is R5 per person and R10 per vehicle.