In a proverbial blaze of glory, Pirates FC lifted the title of Islamic Relief’s 5 a side Charity Tournament this past weekend.

The soccer-themed event was held on Sunday, 2 December 2018, and saw  24 teams from across Johannesburg battle it out  – but it was the stars in white and red who walked away as champions – cash prize in hand after pipping the “Nawty Boys” in the finals.

Jose Garcia AKA JOKER captain of Pirates FC was pleased not only about the win, but the event as well: “The tournament was really great , we enjoyed ourselves and the set was great. The organization of the tournament was run nicely. Games stuck to a program so it was good. We were glad we could do this and have someone benefit from it.”

But while there were winners on the pitch; there were also winners off-field – and these were the beneficiaries for whom the event was held.

Under Islamic Relief’s current campaign banner #YemenCantWait, all the proceeds from the tournament, associated sales, and donations are being channeled to the Arab state that has the notoriety of suffering the world’s largest man-made food crisis. Millions are starving and have to deal with the added scourge of a cholera outbreak.

But many hands make light work  – and the success of the event – which is being earmarked as an annual experience – can be attributed directly to the wonderful enthusiasm and hard work of the volunteers who were preparing over the past few weeks to make sure that all the boxes were ticked for an afternoon to enthrall soccer-mad youngsters.

“Tournaments like these are important to remind the youth  that they can keep busy with good activities even after the schools have closed – with the added bonus that it benefits those in need,” said organiser Zaheer Rajah

Spectator and founder of Miles of Smiles, Naadira Kaka had only praise: “The tournament was well organized, absolutely fun, creative and an amazing initiative .”

Safiya Sarang a well-seasoned volunteer at Islamic Relief was also there to lend a hand: “the tournament was an excellent way for the scholars to de-stress after a busy exam period.

She also added that the day was filled with admiration and gratitude: “We thank and genuinely appreciate the support of the community and our sponsors, Spur Fordburg, Forsmay butcher, Uppercrust bakery, Nelsons, MSN expertz, Khans Butcher, professional soccer player Zaidy Patel, and freestyler Ozwin Edwards – without whom this would have not been possible.

Islamic Relief’s Nawaaz Mohammed – the regional fundraising manager is a man whose soccer togs are never too far away says: “Although it is not possible for everyone to win, each player received a goodie bag for their participation. Tournaments are for the team bonding experience, uniting the community and getting them to give back by being socially active.”

Contact our Johannesburg team if you want to be part of their fundraising events this holiday season.

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