A sports brand is to be built on passion and social change. This is what founder Lebogang Phaka intended to do when he started the Rovers Sports Club in 2013.
At just 21 years old, he was desperate to keep young children in and around Rabie Ridge off the streets and show them that there are opportunities toward a bright future.
“A common love for the sport is what might have brought us together but it’s the common goal to grow this club for the benefit of the entire community that keeps us together,” Phaka said.
It started with just four soccer balls and a dream, Phaka also established a netball team, which is fast becoming a league of its own.
The netball team has had a few successes including having won the Tembisa Netball League.
To date, the Rovers Sports Club has two senior soccer teams – 1st team, Super Rovers and 2nd team, Midrand Rovers.
Super Rovers is currently playing in the Johannesburg SAB League and the Midrand Rovers in the Midrand Local League.
Among many achievements the Super Rovers can brag about, it is the first team in Rabie Ridge and one of three in Midrand to play at SAB League level which is the 4th tier of South African Football. Currently, Super Rovers is in the top eight of the SAB League in their first season which can be considered a ‘remarkable achievement’.
Phaka added that these great successes come with great sacrifice.
“I’ve had to sacrifice six years of my life to the extent of quitting my job at an automobile manufacturing company to try and make this dream a reality without sponsorship and any funding.
“To date, Steve James is our only sponsor helping us with the massive costs of running a club like Rovers, particularly the SAB League costs. We need to get the people of Midrand to pledge support to help this club fly the Midrand flag high in our league and, more importantly, to come to watch our matches.”
Phaka not only hopes that the Rovers can do well on the field but also in the community. “This could be the beginning of Midrand’s greatest football club and impact the community in terms of employment and, most importantly, give hope to all young people in the community about the opportunities before them.”