Sponsored by the Mark fish Foundation, the tournament was initiated by the former South African national football team player, who shared his vision of helping vulnerable rural communities to combat the scourge of drug abuse and prostitution, so prevalent in urban areas, through the game of soccer, with World Farmers’ Organisation president, Theo de Jager.
“After speaking to farmers and farmworkers, 54 teams were formed almost instantly. We now have 100 teams,” Agri Limpopo CEO, Willem van Jaarsveld told Farmer’s Weekly.
“To us, this is about more than soccer. Relationships between farmworkers and employers, farming communities, and youth are [very] important. We also feel this is a place to scout for talent for Bafana Bafana. We are testing it in Limpopo but want to make it a national initiative. We hope farmworker matches can [eventually] open national games,” Van Jaarsveld said.
Although most of the sponsorship for the Game of Stars tournament comes from the Mark Fish Foundation, Agri Limpopo was creating a fund to assist farmworker soccer teams, Van Jaarsveld said,
Currently, teams from four districts in Limpopo were up and running, but the aim was to have teams from all five districts compete in the tournament, with provincial finals planned for August, Van Jaarsveld said.