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THE CHAIRMAN'SLETTERDEAR MASANDAWANA, It feels like only yesterday that we were celebrating a wonderful season of success at Mamelodi Sundowns FC. As an organisation, we had a heartfelt season of service where our players and staff gave their time to our communities in the spirit of Ubuntu. As a family, we were reunited with our supporters at the stadium- and as a team, we completed a domestic clean sweep. While we can always be proud of the stellar performance that Bafana Ba Style put into the 2021/22 campaign- it is important to note that the time to celebrate is behind us, and the time to carve a new future lies ahead. Mamelodi Sundowns is Ready, Refocused and Reloaded. Before we look ahead to the exciting season to come, I would like to reflect on a trio of very important months on the Mamelodi Sundowns calendar: June, July and August. The month of June was special to our club because it was Youth Month; a period when our nation shifts attention to focus on the challenges that young people face. On June 16th, our club launched the Live Limitless Internship Programme, which is a first-of-its-kind, that will be offering five young men and women across the country the chance to work at our Club for five months.
The purpose of this program is to prepare our youth for a place in the workforce by providing them with mentorship, valuable soft skills and crucial work experience. Youth unemployment is not just a government problem, or a private sector problem, but a South Africa problem, and those who can help, are encouraged to do so. We are excited to welcome our new Live Limitless Interns as the season progresses and will keep you updated!
At Mamelodi Sundowns, we believe that giving back to our communities is a privilege and a pleasure, therefore July was just as important as June because of the commemoration of Nelson Mandela Day. The theme for this year’s celebration was “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
This was a perfect call to action for our staff and players who were in preseason camp in Rustenberg. With that in mind, we decided to invite our academy coaches and staff to host a special football clinic for 200 boys and girls at the Royal Marang. It was truly heartwarming to see our first team players smiling and coaching the kids, some of whom did not even have boots to play in.
To most, footballers are heroes that are only seen on TV, but on that day, the team gave their time and attention to a group of youngsters who will remember the day forever. I am certain our Coaches, Rulani Mokwena and Manqoba Mngqithi, also enjoyed watching the players try to be coaches for the day (it’s not as easy as it looks!)
August is also a very dear month for everyone at the club because the 09th marks National Woman’s Day. At Mamelodi Sundowns, we value the importance of celebrating women in the workplace and our women on the field. At this year’s CAF Awards, our Banyana Ba Style sent the Yellow Nation into rapture when they were crowned The (Women) Club of The Year.
Congratulations to our Coach, the technical team and the players for this achievement One cannot mention woman’s football in South Africa without awakening sense of national pride and glory after Banyana Banyana’s CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations victory. Our national team’s success has not only given South Africans a reason to celebrate during these challenging times, but their success has also placed woman’s football in the spotlight − where it deserves to be!
Although there is still much that needs to be done in women’s sport, we are proud to be a Club that is driving change. I would like to wish all of the women in South Africa a happy Women’s Month and thank the Mamelodi Sundowns Ladies Team for being positive role models for many girls and women to look up to. Tlhopie Motsepe and Tiyani Mabunda with a supporterA new season presents its own opportunities and challenges, but most importantly, the prospect of creating history. This is something that players and staff at Mamelodi Sundowns always strive for (because we know that winning trophies for our club and our supporters is how we can leave a lasting legacy at this football institution).
However, it is not only players and staff who can leave a legacy at Mamelodi Sundowns, as supporters, you can continue to be woven into the culture of the Club through your attendance at the stadiums and your presence in the stands.
Masandawana, there is no better way to show love for our team than to come in numbers and stand with our players. This season, they will need you more than ever as we defend three titles and push for Continental success. We are planning to make our home games more than just a game of soccer- expect entertainment, food, and fun for the family!
In conclusion, I would like to wish the players who have either left the club permanently or gone on loan, all the very best at their respective teams and thank them for their contribution to the Club. I would also like to welcome all the new players, staff and supporters who have chosen Mamelodi Sundowns as their team. Thank you very much.
Whether you have been a Sandawana, for a short time, or a long time, now is our time. This season, We Rise Together, We Rise Again.