Mohamed Patel… a legendary sportsman

SVA pays tribute to Mohamed Patel

He epitomises selfless commitment, honesty and genuine goodwill in his quest to promote soccer among the many disadvantaged children within the city.
Patel is a firm believer that soccer is the school of life. As a leader in developing young girls and boys, Patel uses the power of soccer to educate, inspire and mobilise the youth to realise their full potential. He and his coaches groom young people to become role models and leaders in their communities.
Patel was born and grew up in Allandale. He attended the W A Lewitt Primary and Raisethorpe Secondary schools. He graduated with a B Com (Honours) Degree in Accounting at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and he completed his Masters’ Degree (M Com) in Taxation at the University of Pretoria. Although Patel was not involved in soccer at school level, he represented Natal Midlands in athletics.
As a result of the interest displayed by his own children in soccer, he mobilised support from his friends to form a team to play in the Iqra Tournament. This led them to embark on a mission to play league football. As a consequence, the STAXC Football Club was formed and the club is affiliated to the Maritzburg and District Football Association. Patel serves as the Vice-Chairperson of the association.
STAXC FC has grown to such an extent that within a period of three seasons, it has in excess of 100 registered players. It has league teams in the U6, U7, U9, U11, U13 and U15 divisions. Patel’s sole aim is to ensure that the club provides a valuable source of exercise and involvement in sport in a professional and organised manner for all children who wish to participate regardless of their means.
The focus is not on intensive training, but on playing soccer for fun. Patel strives to promote the game for all. He uses the power of the sport to build confidence in young people so that they can take control of their lives on and off the pitch. Interacting, sharing, playing and meeting others are some of the benefits Patel brings to his charges. To this end, he has built the Mountain Rise Astro, comprising of two astro turf football courts.
This state-of-the-art facility, which Patel built at his own cost of R1.3million, is situated on the grounds of Mountain Rise Primary School. The astro turf court is an ideal place to learn about soccer and soccer coaching. Patel acknowledges the role played by his wife Yasmin, Mr Soobryan, the Principal of the school, as well as those of the coaches viz. Riaz Ahmed, Themba Khoza (Prof), Lindsay and Grant Prinsloo, Rishi Chandar and Tariq Osman. CK Energy Drinks also provided support and funding so that Patel and his team could realise their aims and objectives.
Patel is able to cope with all the demands of nurturing young players, but his motivational abilities as a leader and his immense mental strength are what elevate him over his peers into the upper echelons of soccer development in this city. He is, indeed, an inspiration to the SVA and the sports fraternity. The SVA encourages the building of community oriented youth soccer centres around the city so that life and soccer skills could be taught.

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