• The VW Train 4 Life soccer tournament finals took place at Rabie Ridge Stadium in Midrand on 17 May 2023
  • Maputha Secondary School crowned as the 2023 Volkswagen Train 4 Life Girls soccer tournament champions
Johannesburg, 19 May 2023 – Volkswagen, in partnership with the Department of Basic Education, successfully concluded the VW Train 4 Life 2023 initiative in Thembisa, Gauteng. The VW Train 4 Life initiative is an education and sports programme which features an U15 girls' soccer tournament and a comprehensive life skills programme designed to empower and upskill Grade 8 female learners.

The initiative, which combines soccer sessions and life skill lessons, aims to unlock the potential of young women and encourage them to aspire to greatness. Over the past 10 weeks, the programme has provided support to more than 7 125 Grade 8 female learners from various schools in Thembisa.

"We are proud to witness the impact that VW Train 4 Life has had on these young women. Beyond just a game of soccer or a lecture, this initiative has equipped them with the tools, skills and inspiration they need to dream big and realise their ambitions,“ said Steffen Knapp, Head of the Volkswagen Passenger Car Brand.

The VW Train 4 Life U15 Girls soccer tournament showcased the talents of 140 girls from 10 secondary schools. A total of 31 matches were played, resulting in an impressive 57 goals scored and over 1 240 minutes of play. The tournament culminated in a final event held on Wednesday, 17 May 2023 at Rabie Ridge Stadium in Midrand.

Volkswagen would like to congratulate Maputha Secondary School for proudly claiming the title of 2023 champions of the VW Train 4 Life soccer tournament. In recognition of their victory, they have been awarded soccer training kits and equipment for their school.

The initiative also prioritises the development of life skills in these young learners. The programme featured various engaging sessions, including road safety workshops conducted by the VW Advanced Driving Team, self-defence courses, discussions on female hygiene and menstruation and a motivational talk by Zanele Nhlapho, a born and bred Thembisa resident and soccer star who has been delivering inspiring speeches at all the participating schools.

Reflecting on the significance of this initiative, Zanele Nhlapho remarked, "I am honoured to be a part of the VW Train 4 Life initiative and witness the profound impact it has on these young girls' lives. The initiative goes beyond teaching soccer skills; it instils confidence, resilience, and determination in these girls, empowering them to dream bigger and reach for their goals.”

VW's Train 4 Life initiative is also supported by esteemed ambassadors, Simphiwe Dludlu (former Banyana Banyana captain and decorated coach) and Desiree Ellis (current South African National Women's Team Coach).

“Volkswagen remains committed to empowering young girls and fostering their personal growth through the VW Train 4 Life initiative. By combining sports, education and life skills, Volkswagen aims to create a brighter future for these aspiring young women,” concluded Knapp.