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Start ‘the journey to Polaris’

POLARIS Football Club are looking to expand their player pool through trials at Sport Klub Windhoek fields on Saturday.

The club employs an unconventional recruitment policy – it is not only about football ability. The potential new members must be willing to embrace “the responsibility of a Polarian”, club coach Fernando Bernard explains.

“Polaris encourages the community to come and witness this great journey of this youngsters,” Barnard said.

The Windhoek Youth League side is cultivating a positive way of life on and off the pitch. For players to make the grade, they need to train under Polaris for at least five months. Additionally, they need to feature in 20 or more matches for Polaris or any other club playing organised football before getting signed up.

A potential Polaris player needs to have been part of or currently are “under mentorship of some kind in life or football”. A mental health plan for at least six months, plus engaging in an activity that benefits their community are other requirements.

Polaris FC has about 52 potential players on its books.

“These players have been training with Polaris for the past seven months for them to qualify for trials. If a player has not met the above requirements, they must be willing to take on a ‘journey coach’ that will help them achieve the above requirements,” Bernard said.

The trials run from 11h00 to 16h00.

“Most kids are coming from humble beginnings and are currently training on gravel. They reside in Katutura informal settlements like Okahandja Park, Havannah, Goreagab Dam, Greenwell, Okuryangava and Otjomuise,” the founding coach explained, who was a finalist for the Lesedi Awards in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Established in 2016, the Lesedi Awards recognise individuals or employees of Momentum Metropolitan involved in community development initiatives.

Bernard is an employee of the financial services group company.

Polaris went on community outreach on 9 October, with the help of the Momentum Metropolitan risk team. They visited the Megameno Orphanage Home where they donated an assortment of gifts and food parcels.

“The aim was to teach and encourage Polaris players to not only focus on themselves but also to have a heart of giving back to their communities. ‘Your greatness is not what you have, but in what you give’ [American author] Alice Hocker,” Barnard noted.

“Polaris recently joined forces with Nam Lights, another non-governmental organisation that fosters meaningful living among Namibians through initiatives that help to spread joy and purpose. One of the potential Polaris players, Gift Coetzee, is currently under mentorship,” said Barnard.

“With the help of Polaris, Gift Coetzee has also achieved his bachelor’s degree in business management and is on the verge of achieving his personal goal on the Polaris journey.”

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