Nineteen-year-old Lebohang Mathikga, an aspiring professional football player and BCom marketing student from Barkly West, is rallying to raise funds for his tuition fees to study and play football in the USA.
NINETEEN-year-old Lebohang Mathikga, an aspiring professional football player and BCom marketing student from Barkly West, is rallying to raise funds for his tuition fees to study and play football in the USA.
Mathikga has been offered a scholarship opportunity to join Putnam Science Academy, a college preparatory high school in Connecticut, on an academic and soccer bursary that will cover 62% of his costs.
He is now on a mission to raise an amount of $9,417.2 (around R179,000) for this year’s tuition and is looking for assistance in making his dream a reality.
Mathikga is currently studying at Centurion Academy. He attended Staats Primary School in Kimberley and went on to attend Klerksdorp Technical High School from 2018 to 2022.
He has played football in Manchester, Bolton and Fleetwood in the UK and trained with pro club Al-Nasr SC in Dubai.
Following his performance at a 9v9 tournament in Sharjah, UAE, he was offered an opportunity to play in the USA.
His father, Lebohang Mathikga Sr, said that his son has always loved football and would play street football every chance he got.
“Due to there not being football teams at the different schools he attended, he participated in athletics, cricket and rugby before enrolling at Klerksdorp Technical High School (KTHS) in 2018, where he had the chance to showcase his passion and talent for football,” said the father.
“Lebohang was part of the Under-16 KTHS soccer team in his first year of enrolment and he progressed through the ranks and became one of the regular starters for the KTHS first team, where he won the Jose Jardim Soccer Award for the Most Valuable Player in 2022 and the KTHS Feather Supremus certificate (Order of the Silver Feather).
“He was one of 40 players offered an opportunity to train and play against professional teams in Manchester, England (courtesy of Sim Tours development agency). He and the rest of the Sim Tours team trained under local Uefa-licensed coaches and played against the Fleetwood Town FC international development team and the Bolton Wanderers FC Under-19 team.
“He further travelled with Empire FC to Dubai, UAE, to train with pro side Al-Nasr SC and participated in a tournament that saw them finish second in Sharjah, UAE.”
Being from a lower-middle-class family and growing up in different places, including Warrenton, Kimberley, Christiana and Klerksdorp, Mathikga prides himself on having learned to adapt to different environments.
He has also adapted to various positions on the football field.
“I currently play RB, LB, RW, LW, RWB and LWB and aspire to become a professional football player. With the USA scholarship opportunity that I have been granted by the ASM Sports Group, I’ll finally be able to turn this dream into a reality,” said Mathikga.
“The trip is a huge financial undertaking, which is why I am reaching out to my fellow community for monetary assistance.”
Mathikga Sr said they have already missed the deadline for his son to start in January 2024 because they could not raise the funds for the tuition fees.
“I therefore contacted the academy to extend our payment plan and to allow him to start during the second term, in order to allow us more time to raise the funds.
Mathikga’s parents have managed to scrape together the deposit of $1,200 but they still need to raise $9,417.2 (around R179,000) to be able to send their son on his way.
Any contribution will be much appreciated and Lebohang Mathikga can be contacted on 073 176 2780.