On Saturday, football lovers from across the City of Roses gathered for the 9th edition of the Bloem Republic Corporate 7s soccer tournament at Christian Brothers’ College (CBC) in Waverley Road.
The event once again showcased some serious footballing skills from the die-hard fans in Bloemfontein, and more importantly, the most visible on offer during the day was that the love for the sport was evident.
While none of the participants will ever play for a Barcelona or Liverpool, a few years ago a player was spotted by the Bloemfontein Celtic Chairman, Max Tshabalala, and a club scout. This youngster went on to play for the Celtic reserves in the highly competitive MultiChoice Diski Challenge.
The norm is for the tournament to be played over one Saturday, however, as next year it will be the 10th anniversary of the tournament, the organiser OB Monnye, who was a keen tennis player and cricketer in his day, and headboy at CBC, has promised bigger and better things.
Monnye told Bloemfontein Courant that next year they are playing to have a three-day tournament and that the plans are well advanced.
“The 10th edition next year will be a three-day event and it will start on the 1st of May, which will be a public holiday, and we will have the corporates on that day.
“On the second day we will have the students from the university, Motheo College and some of the other FETs, as well as such as Glen Agricultural College, for example.
“On the Sunday we will also have another event, so for the 10th edition next year we want to go really big.”
Monnye agreed that a lot of these smaller, non-league tournaments are disappearing and that it is really important for such events to take place in order to help keep the sport alive.
“Days and events like this are very important to the community and I am also disappointed that they seem to be dying out. There was a stage where you knew that once a month there was a soccer, hockey, basketball tournament, you just name it.
“We have the whole community coming out, and it’s very important for social cohesion that everyone mixes. As much as they will never play for the biggest clubs in the world, they still just want to have a run around and some fun.” – MORGAN PIEK