Tumeliso joins Icelandic club Grótta
We are thrilled to announce that Kick4Life Academy participant, Tumeliso Ratšiu (19), will become the first K4L player to move to a European club as he joins Iceland team Grótta Sports Club who currently plays in the 2nd tier of the country's football pyramid.
The opportunity was secured by former K4L coach, Paul Westren, who now coaches for Grótta.
Tumeliso received his Schengen D VISA for Iceland this morning and he will be traveling in the next few days.
Having been a part of Kick4Life since 2014 at the early age of 10, Tumeliso joins 10 other Kick4Life student-athletes and alumni who have progressed to international opportunities, including two already this year, Kabelo and Morakane who both recently flew to the USA.
During his time at Kick4Life, Tumeliso has received holistic support which including an academic scholarship to attend Thetsane High School, completing his secondary schooling in 2021. He aims to continue his academic journey in Iceland with support form Paul in identifying further opportunities for personal development and learning.
Westren says: "I coached Tumeliso during my time at the Kick4Life Academy and he is a young player with a lot of potential. I am delighted to help secure this exciting opportunity for him. Myself and the other coaches are looking forward to welcoming him here at Grótta and supporting the next steps in his development.
During a media event at the Kick4Life Centre, Kick4Life Executive Committee Chairperson, Ntate Mohaeso Baba Malephane, congratulated Tumeliso, with K4L co- founder Pete Fleming also present to wish him well in his new adventure. Pete also thanked Paul for making this moment possible and stated that Tumeliso’s departure is also due to the hard work of Kick4Life staff and the player himself. Tumeliso's coach, Mukete Epie Mbho, added that Lesotho has immense talent, just as the diamonds found in it. He emphasised that Tumeliso is a rare definition of talent and that it is not every day that such talent can be unearthed. In talking to his player, Mukete urged him to always work hard and always try to improve
Tumeliso's parents were also present to witness the announcement of the departure of their son, and they thanked Kick4Life for the continued support of their child.
Tumeliso himself stated that when he first interacted with Kick4Life, he just wanted to play for a team in town, he says he had no vision whatsoever, but being selected to be part of the Academy in 2017, he saw his potential and he then started envisioning his life and where he wants to be in the future. He stated that being a teenager, he was sometimes hard to deal with, but kick4Life, through its coaches and staff, were always there to support him and were patient enough to guide him in all walks of life. He said: "I have always wanted to make people around me proud. This opportunity is not just for myself, it is for Kick4Life and Lesotho as a whole, as I will work hard to seek opportunities for Basotho youth who wish to change their lives through football as well. I am really thankful to Kick4Life and to all the people who have contributed in my growth and development up to this point."
Kick4Life’s Country Director, Motlatsi Nkhahle, concluded, ‘Go to Iceland and play with passion and show respect to football because this is how we change lives. Focus, because if you focus on the work, everything else will fall into place."