Craig Kiggen CFP® Executive Director KZN
Craig Kiggen CFP® Executive Director KZN

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27 February 2014

DON’T DRIBBLE YOUR MONEY AWAY (DDYMA) is a personal financial literacy coaching program developed by Consolidated Financial Planning in association with Show Me Your Number (SMYN) and the South African Masters and Legends Football Association (SAMLFA). This long overdue intervention will be launched today, 27 Feb 2014 at 18h00 at Consolidated Offices, Randburg. In attendance and speaking will be Phil Masinga, Eugene Zwane & Andre Arendse, all former professional football players who have different experiences with money. They will articulate why they are involved with Don’t Dribble Your Money Away project. This launch takes the baton from the Budget Speech of Minister Pravin Gordhan delivered yesterday.

Why do we need financial literacy education in the football sector in South Africa today? Well, there are many challenges that South Africans face at the moment. Some of these challenges include HIV and AIDS, substance and drug abuse, rape, murder and other forms of violent crime, abuse against women and children, single parent households and child headed households, inequality and poverty, education and access to knowledge, employment and job creation, materialism and greed, social cohesion and up-liftment. These are just to mention a few. There is one particular entity that cuts across all of these challenges â€" an entity that knows no barriers in terms of culture, race, social status or religion. This entity is often a root cause and a challenge in itself that directly influences the indicated challenges for better or for worse, often for the worse. This entity we know as MONEY.

Let’s go back to beginning when the professional players, the fans, the administrators - were we ever taught effective financial life skills by our parents or did we learn anything in school about the appropriate use of money? In many instances we weren’t taught the essential personal financial life skills unless we were amongst the privileged few who were. For the vast majority of South Africans we did not have the appropriate role models that should have taught us how to use and respect money. We need good role models â€" this is an opportunity and needed to help bring about positive influence and change. This leaves us as adults without a financial compass. We have no guidance and this is why we see South Africans plunging deeper into a financial morass that is rapidly becoming more desperate and gives rise to many of the challenges that we have indicated above. “Money permeates our everyday lives. If we continue to make poor money choices the chances of us falling foul to any number of the challenges that we have indicated becomes very real” says Buti Mathathe, President of the South African Master & Legends Football Association.

We have to start somewhere. We have identified that sport, in this instance but not limited to soccer would be a likely place to “kick off” and support such a joint community financial literacy outreach initiative. There are many reasons why:

  1. Sport, as we have seen with soccer and rugby, in South Africa, is a great catalyst and a motivator that gets the message out there and is a positive influencer that can support a message and works towards social unity.
  2. People of all ages look up to our sporting greats. If we can get our sporting professionals to become ambassadors and support such a program then we get instant association, aspiration and recognition from the general population.
  3. We know that our soccer stars, just like the rest of us, have money challenges throughout their playing careers. We have seen many players who have bowed out of the game with nothing. Many players lacked the guidance and coaching that they needed when they were playing and making money. When they are retired and “on the heap” they have nothing to show from their professional career.

“We have to break habits and change attitude” says Nigel Willmott, lead facilitator and content developer from Consolidated Financial Planning. As much as professionals need to hone their skills and train their game on a regular basis so too do we have to train our financial skills. The concept would be “swap your boots for a pen and paper in the boardroom” as part of the overall holistic training program of a professional player over a period of time. “We are addressing the “soft skills” that make a player successful. It is about scoring goals on and off the pitch. Don’t Dribble Your Money Away is about development of a football player on and off the pitch” says Mabalane Mfundisi, Executive Director of Show Me Your Number.

“A financially distressed player means an underperforming player” says Buti Mathathe. A player with financial difficulties is problematic to manage, may leave for more money, is easily distracted, might be playing the game for the wrong reasons and may also turn to substance abuse to get by and relieve the financial burden that they may be under. “We cannot ignore the impact that financial “un”wellness can have amongst players and the overall performance of the team” concludes Sydney Hadebe, Chairperson of the Show Me Your Number Board.



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