This year saw the World Cup in South Africa, a great event but despite what the politicians and Sepp Blatter say not much of the experience, or proceeds filtered down to the people in the Township.
I don’t know one child from Imizano Yetho who saw a live game, though we had one talented Under 11 boy – Similo – introduced to Iniesta while the Spanish were in Town.
Thanks to the generosity of one volunteer – Joel Warsburg, in November, we took 10 very excited boys to the Bafana Bafana / USA game in Cape Town.
During the World Cup we managed to organise a friendly match, opposite the ocean at Camps Bay FC, involving international supporters, on the day of the England/Algeria game. Mostly English participants but we did have Aussies, Irish, Indian and Mexican. Initial proviso was that they bring a used pair of boots to the game to donate to the Township kids, a dozen of whom attended.
Well, in total we received about 120 pairs of boots and training shoes (some new ) and about 50 football shirts, with shin pads and shorts etc.
Shows to go the generosity of the average travelling fan, pity the English supporters who create so much atmosphere, are let down by their second rate team. (I saw this first hand after driving up to Bloemfontein for the England / Germany debacle – race horses against carthorses).
After the Camps Bay game we had some of the boys do their Gumboot Dance which had the visitors in “stitches”, and we had the High School Xhosa choir singing traditional songs.
Lulu played in the friendly and suitably impressed the Poms, and after going to his annual assessment at Ajax Cape Town he continues to impress their management. Ajax culled 30 % of their old U13 squad but he went through to their Under 15 side this year.
Another sport that we have helped to introduce and promote with half a dozen under privileged primary schools is Volleyball. Ex Belgian international Dominique Do Ro, who was with us a year ago, has returned with her Volleyball Project and will be here until April 2011. As the kids are enjoying the sport so much we are trying to make this a permanent project for future sports volunteers. With the backing of Virgin Active we are holding an afternoon Volleyball Festival for 5 schools, at their Fitness Complex in Green Point in February 2011
In the summer months we continue with swimming coaching, and the occasional surf safari to the beach. In winter we help with the Football and Netball Primary school teams.