Football Festival spectacle kicks off-Event in honour of late legend Ronnie Vengadajellum

The inaugural 2023 ELCLFA Ronnie John Vengadajellum Memorial Goodwill Football Festival will be held from today until Saturday at the North End Stadium and Bunkers Hill grounds.

It is being hosted by Greater East Buffalo Flats Sports Confederation affiliate East London Central Local Football Association (ELCFAL), in partnership with Ginger Love.

The last time the association held such a huge event was in 2016, when it successfully hosted the 12th edition Bakan Poovan Memorial Inter-LFA Goodwill Games.

The festival will see the cream of male and female youth representative football talent from local schools, football academies and LFAs, as well as a visiting team from Gqeberha.

The festival is named after the Border football legend from the 1940-60s era.

Vengadajellum was among the best centre halves in the history of Sacos football.

He was the captain of Star of India FC and the Border Senior Squad and was selected to the SA Soccer Federation side to tour India in 1956.

The football festival will include seven age group categories – Under 10, U12, U14, U16, senior U18 boys, U13 girls, and senior women.

The Local Football Association participants include squad representatives from East London Central and King East.

The school and football academy squad representatives are from Greater Buffalo Flats primary and high Schools, as well as Bethelsdorp Primary School.

The festival kicks off at 9am on Thursday and on Friday with round robin fixtures.

The semifinals will be held on Friday afternoon and the cup finals are scheduled for Saturday at the North End Stadium.

A Senior All Star Football Squad will be announced at the closing ceremony, which will include the top manager, coach and match official.

Darian Hendricks, the ELCLFA vice-president and chairperson of the ELCLFA technical committee, said the festival was aimed at promoting football, gender equality and diversity at grassroots level.

Hendricks said: “We are fully committed in organising such football programmes that inspire our community youth and officials as they are afforded the opportunity to compete against the best of football talent in their respective age groups.

“Such football programmes also empower our youth with skills to positively develop their personalities and character.

“It also increases the opportunity to tackle their life and enhances a strong civil society.

“It also empowers coaches and match officials to realise their characters as leading figures, combining their social and football mentoring skills.”

Visit the ELCFLA Facebook page for the match fixtures schedule.

TOP CONTENDERS: WSU’s women’s Dream Team who were crowned the winners of the ELCFLA Premier Star Bakeries Women’s Cup tournament are set to participate in the inaugural 2023 ELCLFA Ronnie John Vengadajellum Memorial Goodwill Football Festival. Picture: SUPPLIED


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