Over 120 children, both boys and girls, participated in the day-long RES Siyakha 1800 Grassroots festival held in Tshaneni Stadium on Saturday.The participants, who comprised of 90 boys and 30 girls, were imparted with the basics of football including dribbling, ball control, passing and shooting. Under the guidance of qualified coach educators, the participants were also grouped to form teams that competed in small sided games.Seemingly, the day was not enough for the energetic and passionate children who were seen sweating it out all in the name of football. They were yearning for more football action, something which brought smiles to the scores of spectators including parents and/or guardians who came to give support to the children.

 Interviewed shortly after the event, RES Siyakha Programme Manager, Sicelo Nene who is also the Eswatini Football Association’s (EFA’s) Executive Member sounded excited about what he termed a successful event which provide perfect platform for the youngsters to express themselves. ” We are delighted about such a huge turnout for this event. It shows that people love this exercise, and I am made to believe that even parents and guardians are embracing it when considering the attendance. This is a great platform for the kids to showcase their talent, and thanks to the sponsors Royal Eswatini Sugar (RES) Corporation” Nene said briefly.

 Present during the event was Lubombo Regional Football Association’s (LRFA’s) Vice Chairman Thokozani Shongwe, Executive Committee Member, Sifiso ‘Barnes’ Dlamini, Brave Lions F.C. coach Sylevster Dlamini, and former Mhlume Peacemakers F.C. coach, Bongani Nxumalo to mention but a few.


The RES Siyakha 1800 grassroots programme has bought smiles to the youngsters as they seemed to be enjoying every moment of the action. This is what they said about this football development programme:  

Bila Muhanmad (Grade 5 at Thembelisha Primary School): ” I am excited to be part of the programme, and I will participate even next time. I was able to score two goals during the (small-sided) games, hence I wish to continue developing my striking prowess. My favorite team is Al Nassr and my dream is to play for Sihlangu”

 Kwenzo Simelane (Grade 2 pupil at Thembelisha Primary School): “It was my first time to attend such programme, and I enjoyed myself. I am looking forward to another similar event in future. I adored dribbling the other participants.”

 Siphosethu Zwane (Grade 6 pupil at Tshaneni Primary School): “It is my second time to be part of this event and I’m enjoying every moment of it. I will come back for such events in future. Mostly, I enjoyed dribbling and passing the ball under the guidance of coach Barnes (Dlamini)”.

 Seluleko Mamba (Grade 6 pupil at Tshaneni Primary School): “This was my second time to participate in this programme, as I once attended it last year. I came as early as 7 am to make sure I have time to play, and of course I enjoyed. I will invite my friends to come with me next time.”