Clarke Estate resident and passionate soccer player, Euwin Stevens, says he is enjoying the tranquillity and the change of scenery in the United States of America (USA).
The 22-year-old was accepted to study business management while playing soccer at the University of Arkansas Rich Mountain. He jetted off on Tuesday 30 July to kick off his two-year scholarship. Local soccer scout, David Syce, assisted Stevens with the scholarship application, and within a few weeks, Stevens received a letter of acceptance.
Stevens chatted to TygerBurger last week to share what life is like “on the other side”.
“I’m in Mena, Arkansas. The change of scenery is really different but in a nice way. It’s tranquil here and the area is really quiet compared to what I’m used to. I’m able to enjoy the small things like taking a walk to the store at 19:00. It’s a really nice mountainous area and the people here are amazing,” he says. “I’m living at a campus residence with three other South Africans (who are from Durban) in an apartment so we’re looking out for one another on campus.”
Stevens only starts classes on 19 August. “The university is really nice and everyone is eager to make settling in easy for us and that helps a lot. We’ve been doing orientation and getting to know our lecturers so I’ve been really busy. The university is amazing! You don’t need to go anywhere because everything is here and that is nice because we’re still getting used to the area. It’s good to know that the community is also supporting us because we got stopped in the mall by people who said they saw an article about us in their local community newspaper.”
About his soccer passion, Stevens says he believes he inherited his father’s soccer genes (“Clarkies soccer star to study in United States”, 7/19).
He has been kicking ball since the age of four and has been part of the most prominent clubs in the city. When he was six (in 2002) he joined the Eastern Rovers soccer club in Elsies River. From 2007 until 2012, he joined Vasco Da Gama Football Club where he captained for five years. In 2012 he moved over to African Soccer Development Academy, then from 2015 until 2016, he was with Hellenic Football Club. Now since 2017, he has been with Kuils River AFC.
“I believe my father’s genes were passed down to me as he was also a soccer player in his days. The day I picked up a ball, I never let it go again. I enjoy soccer so much because it has taught me to be disciplined and also to respect the people you play with ... not only your team members but the opposition as well. I love soccer so much,” says Stevens. He describes the sport as something which has positively impacted his life in more ways than one. “Although challenges existed, I didn’t have to go through it alone. I had people who supported me along the way whom I call my soccer family. “It has motivated me to always do my best, to remain focused and dedicated to my goals and school work. I hope my choices in life and my conduct will inspire others, especially the young people in Clarke Estate,” explains Stevens.
He attended De Vrije Zee Primary School in Goodwood then moved over to Groote Schuur High School and matriculated at Kasselsvlei High School. “I’ve learned that it’s so important to stay on the straight and narrow path. My family is very God-fearing and I believe if it wasn’t for them steering me in the right direction I wouldn’t have made it to where I am today,” says Stevens. When asked why he has chosen to study business management, he says he felt it’s important to have a backup career as well.
Ruan-Jacques Coetzee, Kuils River AFC coach says:
“Reliable, talented and motivated are a few of the words that I can use to describe the type of player Euwin is. His dedication and enthusiasm for the game have improved the team’s synergy and competitive edge.”
In celebration of Mandela Day, Elsies River born singer, Craig Lucas (who currently resides in Brackenfell), hosted a benefit concert to assist Stevens with funds as he needed R80 000 for his flights and living expenses for the two years. Lucas was able to arrange for Don Vino Prins, Keanu Harker, Craig Jordaan, Yanga Sobetwa, Paxton Fielies, Anslin Gysman and the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra to perform at the Artscape Theatre on Thursday 18 July.
Stevens says he will forever be grateful for the efforts made by all who played a part in arranging the fundraiser. “The fundraiser was beyond amazing! It was blessed! I know that God was in that place the night of the event. I still get emotional when I think about it, but to everyone that worked behind the scenes – the Artscape Theatre and the Cape Harmonic Youth Orchestra as well as all the stewards and cleaners – thank you so much. To Craig and all the amazing musicians that dedicated their time to mamake sure that I can live out my dream, I love you guys.
“Lastly, the people who used their hard-earned money to support my dream, without you, this would not have been possible and for that, I will always be eternally grateful.”
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