Mason set to score in Madrid

Soccer prodigy, Mason Pietersen of Heidedal, was thrilled to meet sports icon, Wayde van Niekerk.

The six-year-old Mason Pietersen may only be in Grade 1 but the little striker has received an opportunity to attend a soccer clinic at the Real Madrid Academy in Spain. Pietersen is set to show his skills and gain training at the academy in April 2020.

According to his father, Sharad Pietersen, the young boy has shown an interest in the beautiful game since birth, having started to kick soccer balls just after taking his first steps. “I always take him with me when I go watch a game or soccer meetings. The love of soccer comes from both sides of the family. I played soccer, my father is involved in local soccer, and my wife’s brother plays too. So it’s in the blood,” he explained.

Mason is described as hardworking, dedicated and focused, with the goal of representing the province and country overseas. “He was invited to Supersport last year for trials. Mason was already on the field before everyone else at 07:30. The coaches loved him because he was so dedicated,” said Sharad.

“Getting this opportunity to go to clinics in Madrid is great. I will take this opportunity so that I can make myself and everyone who supports me very proud,” said Mason, who has just started Grade 1 at Grey College this month.

Charley Pietersen, the former CEO of Bloemfontein Celtic and Mason’s grandfather, expressed excitement for the young boy’s future. “This is a great chance for him to get the right exposure. If they spot him, he could be enrolled for training, school and university in the future. This is a life changing moment for him,” he said.

Mason’s attendance at the clinic will be from 10 to 18 April 2020 at the cost of over R42 000. Family members have already contributed R5 000 but are asking for the help of Bloemfontein to cover the rest of the costs. “He needs R35 450 urgently to secure his spot as the money has to be paid in by the end of January,” said Sharad.

Anyone who is willing to contribute, can contact Sharad and his wife Megan at 079-198-4167 or 081-338-1063.

Nomaqhawe Mtebele