The Thru Pass Social League 2017 season officially kicks off this Sunday, the league’s executive committee has announced. Twelve clubs have signed up to participate in the league this season, which runs from March to October 2017. The cut-off age for all the participating players is 28 years. The teams that will be participating in the league are defending champions Aweh Aweh, Deportivo FC, Taxi Taxi FC, Harambee FC, Revolution FC, Top Jitas FC, Oshikuku FC and Showtime FC. New teams that were added to the league are Bucks FC, Brothers United, Happy People and Majimboz.
The social league has been a great success over the years, and keeps growing every year. It has proven to be popular as famous retired soccer players like Nelson Akwenye, Costa Khaiseb, Salomo Hei, Michael Pienaar, Quinton Jacobs, Rudi Louw, Paulus Shipanga, Alfie Ndyenge, Brian Brendall, Arnold Subeb, Bradley Werman, also participate in the league. The Telecom Park Stadium will be the venue for all the matches but alternative venues have been lined up in the event that Telecom Park becomes unavailable for one or other reason.
The league started three years ago, to accommodate those players who were forced to retire from organised football and who still have a few years of football in them. The league also serves as a platform to build friendships and create a family environment for football lovers. The league has brought together many former players, who have not seen each other for many years. Even families and friends were reunited through this league. “At the end of the season, we want to bring together the winners of all the social leagues in the country to play out to determine the overall best social team in the country,” said Isack Hamata. The league’s name has changed from Thru Pass Sunday League to Thru Pass Social League to allow the league matches to be played on any day deemed suitable and conducive for the teams, and not just on Sundays as was the case over the past two seasons. The league has adopted a theme for this year which is: “United Thru Social Goals”. Social goals are those which enable you to contribute to the development of the community.
“In view of the above, the league and its member clubs have dedicated this 2017 season to advancing the cause of the girl child. We read, hear and see how many of our young girls miss out on schooling because of lack of access to sanitary pads during their menstrual cycles,” said Hamata. “We have decided to join this campaign this year by heightening the focus on this issue in a very practical way. Every month, one of the 12 clubs will buy and donate sanitary pads to a school of their choice in Windhoek. Every month it will be the turn of a different club to buy and donate to a school of their choice. “We know that we will not solve the problem on our own but we hope our efforts will bring the problem in the public domain and by so doing more people, clubs, organisations and families will support the girl child in their respective areas where they live. We are also hoping that through our efforts and those of others, school girls will one day be supplied with free sanitary products to keep them in school and make productive citizens out of them.” Every other town now has one or two social leagues that accommodate former players or players who do not stand a chance to play organised football.
Hamata said, “There is a need to engage each other under a formal structure to ensure that they maintain focus and deliver on our social responsibility towards these players and the communities in which they live.” Discussions to establish an association of social football leagues informally started last year. Plans are afoot to bring all leaders of the various leagues together under one roof to discuss and decide whether there is a need to establish an association for social leagues or to keep engagements informal. The Thru Pass Social League encourages all the players who play for its affiliate clubs and also those who play under other different leagues all over the country to actively get involved in youth football development.