For Teboho Raseruthe, nothing is more heart-wrenching than seeing amateur soccer teams based in townships having to play their matches with soccer kits that are poorly designed. His passion for sports led him to seek a solution, and through his brand, TraseSports, he has given these teams hope. And in the long run, he would like to see teams in top-tier football leagues in the country wear his brand with pride.
Raseruthe explained to Vutivi News that his background in sports gave him the advantage to know what these teams needed and provide it. “Having had worked with entities like the South African Football Association and Gauteng Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation, I was able to observe how expensive it was for amateur clubs to have soccer kits made for them,” he said.
“Most of them used European-style kits which did not afford them a sense of identity. “I started the business in 2020 to address these issues.” Raseruthe said that his business, which was based in Alberton in Ekurhuleni, provided kits for soccer, netball and athletics teams. He started the company from his own pocket, and in a short space of time, he was able to gain a foothold in five provinces.
His biggest markets are in Gauteng, Limpopo and the Free State. He also supplies kits in the North West and Eastern Cape. “We customise the kit and consult with the teams so that we can know what design, colour and collar style they want for their jerseys, shorts and socks,” he said. “We have partnered with a printing company because one of the challenges we face is printing as it is very expensive to own the machinery needed to print the designs for the kits.”
Raseruthe said that in the near future he hoped to expand his value chain by owning the printing aspect of his business. His company, which employs eight people, grew at an early stage because of its popularity, which enabled it to make enough profit to hire more people and make additional kits. “One of our biggest achievements is manufacturing 800 uniforms for an organisation,” he said. “The client was very happy, and we hope to do business with them in the future.” Raseruthe said his brand has become so popular that he had received requests from team supporters to design supporters’ T-shirts for them, especially in Limpopo.
“Seeing over 30 supporters wearing the same uniform in rural areas while passionately supporting their teams brings tears to joy to my eyes,” Raseruthe said. The sports lover plans on hosting a top-eight tournament for the teams that have bought the most kits from his business. These teams will be given an opportunity to win a kit, medals and trophies. “This is my way of expressing my gratitude for them, and to show my love of the game,” he added.