Connect with us

English Premier League

Jurgen Klopp funding ground-breaking social change alongside PT SportSuite

Can you tell me what links Jurgen Klopp, a man from Croydon, and ground-breaking social change on the outskirts of Cape Town?

If you’re blurting the words Hout Bay United, then congratulations. I want you in my pub quiz team. And if you’ve not heard of them, you should have.

www.fanbanter.co.uk – Fan reaction to the latest football news, gossip & funnies

They aren’t an obvious choice for the foreign fan, residing in the humble third tier of South African football, currently resting at ninth in the table, and Hout Bay as an area is only 1/15th the size of Klopp’s adopted city of Liverpool.

The club were only formed in 2014, and all started from some jumpers for goalposts with Croydon based founder and owner of the club Jeremy Olsen:

“I came over on honeymoon, loved the country and got an opportunity to move over about 6 months later” said Jeremy

“The project evolved from a social game between my staff, friends and kids who lived around the field. It was an amazing energy where everyone was equal, and the kids were talented. we began to understand the power we were having as mentors. That’s when we looked to start the team”

www.fanbanter.co.uk – Fan reaction to the latest football news, gossip & funnies

So how on earth did Jurgen Klopp become a follower of such an obscure team around 14000km away from his boys in red?

Well, Hout Bay United are far more than a football club as Jeremy explained.

“Our aims are to unite the communities of Hout Bay, uplift youth through mentorship and bring pride to Hout Bay through successful football, successful programs and developing great people”

Despite three decades passing since scrapping the apartheid system, many areas of South Africa remain divided across apartheid lines. Black and white inhabitants live together yet remain deeply divided economically.

Hout Bay is a typical example of this, made up of predominantly white households of middle-high income in the Valley, with a majority black population in the settlement of Imizamo Yethu, where day to day life can be a struggle.

In a country with such a regressed society, Hout Bay United are doing their best to force progressive social change, bringing people of all backgrounds together, not just to win football matches, but to better their community.

They are host to a total of around 500 players across all age groups, and academy level, of all races and genders, and are exclusively from Hout Bay. The first team even boasts a 100% employment rate!

“We have a holistic philosophy and have developed a player development pathway which looks to uplift off the pitch but in so doing improve performance on the pitch” said Jeremy.

This community involvement has led to the area experiencing up to an 80% lower crime rate on the night of a home fixture, according to official stats from the local Police Commissioner.

With having such an impact on their area within their infant years, it comes as no surprise that the club caught the eye of one of the biggest managers in world football. But just how did Jurgen Klopp become affiliated with Hout Bay?

“Jurgen came over in Nov 2017 and put on a great private event at the local market to 2000 or so people chatting about his career in a really informal setting to raise funds. We have been in contact ever since and has continued to help us regularly.” Jeremy told us.

The reported figure raised from the exuberant German gaffers’ fundraiser was around R300,000 (£14,500) and Klopp, along with his agent Marc Kosicke have continued to support the club ever since.

Hout Bay have now also partnered with PT SportSuite and will be hoping to take their media output to the next level. The new end-to-end digital solution means the club can now increase the amount of digital content they capture, store, manage and publish to their fans, while innovative technology like the augmented reality scanning tool will allow the club and its supporters to interact in new and exciting ways, providing more value for the community of Hout Bay.

PT SportSuite CEO Richard Cheary, said they are delighted to be working with the club and sponsoring their shirts.

“Hout Bay have a very unique story within the football world and one which can help to inspire other clubs across football wanting to make a difference in their communities.

“We are excited to work with Jeremy and the team and bringing them digital solutions to create an IP of their own through the media they are producing on a daily basis. Our digital systems also ensure that they can spend less time in the office and more time on the field doing what they do best with these young people and adults.”

Jeremy said his long-term goals for Hout Bay are way beyond just football and he hopes to continue to make positive changes to people’s lives.

He said: “With time we want to work with all local schools with our coaches to ensure correct physical development in the area. We also want to run food programs into the families of junior players to ensure good nutrition. The plan is to play PSL football with coaches and players from one town”

“We’re trying to prove what a community project can achieve at the highest level, run elite training programs and eventually compete at the highest level. Giving back to the community along the way to try and generate a wave of positivity and pride.”

We may even see Jeremy’s social model implemented closer to home.

“If we reach our goals and we can build a transferable model then it would be amazing to try and implement similar programs in other parts of the world for sure.” said Jeremy.

Klopp’s side may be showcasing a massive points lead in the Premier League, but Jeremy’s side are doing something much bigger than a title win. For more information on Hout Bay United, visit https://ptsportsuite.com/our-partners/

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in English Premier League