Stars Line up to endorse Let’s Play a Million Campaign
UNICEF and SuperSport team up to promote child development through sport
Johannesburg, 1 May, 2007…More than twenty big name South African celebrities have endorsed the UNICEF and SuperSport Let’s Play a Million campaign, urging the public to donate one soccer ball to help improve children’s lives through sport in the country’s under resourced communities in the run up to 2010.
Several sports stars including Kaiser Chiefs’ Shaun Bartlett and Orlando Pirates’ Benedict Vilakazi, helped kick start the massive campaign last Wednesday, contributing 5,300 balls in just one hour at the pre-launch event hosted by KAYA FM in Johannesburg. The day before at Algoa FM in Port Elizabeth, another 500 balls were raised.
As one of five participating radio stations around the country, KAYA FM will join East Coast Radio, Heart FM, Algoa FM and OFM in promoting the campaign in the two-month long run up to the main event - a dedicated all-day radiothon and SMS drive scheduled to take place on Wednesday, 27 June.
This week, other campaign launches will take place with partner stations in Durban and Cape Town and expectations are high on upping the number of ball raised at these functions.
“Both UNICEF and SuperSport are extremely proud that these stars have put their names behind our campaign, which is really about promoting the well being of children, their right to be children – to play, learn, grow and develop to their fullest potential, all of which can be achieved through sport, ” said Vaughan Bishop, Public Relations and Promotions Manager at SuperSport.
“So far, we have recorded public service messages from Natalie du Toit, Shaun Bartlet, amongst others, he says. But it’s not only sport stars that are coming to the Let’s Play a Million party. “Pop star, Heinz Winkler, the South African Idols winner; haute couture designer Gavin Rajah, musicians Malaika and Danny K, amongst others, have pledged their support. We also have good indications of participation from some of UNICEF’s international Goodwill Ambassadors, and we are very excited about that,” he adds.
Why are the stars signing on to this programme in such big numbers? The answer for some lies in their desire to give something back to their country by supporting UNICEF and its partners such as the National Department of Education in their development programmes for children targeting specifically the 585 schools in critical need of support.
Says footballer Shaun Bartlett, “This campaign is about creating opportunities and providing resources to help children in poor communities grow up right. I did not have much growing up,” he says. “I’d like today’s children to have better chance for success in their lives through sport and I will continue to give not only my support but get my team mates on track to support this campaign.”
The television spots recorded by the stars urge SuperSport viewers and radio listeners to donate one soccer ball by making one phone call that will help children in South Africa’s poor and under resourced communities exercise their right to play.
As from 1 May, South Africans can just sms "BALL" to 42500 to make as many donations as they wish to the Let’s Play a Million campaign. Each SMS costs 30 rands.
So who’s next in the stars lineup? “We are talking to a lot of international folks who have responded very well to our campaign. We’ll announce names when they’re in the bag”, says Bishop. Remember, you too help realize children’s right to play. One call One ball. You can help us reach our goal of 1 million balls. Each SMS costs 30 rands.