UNICEF South Africa unveils a 3-year partnership with Soccerex
Johannesburg, 20 September… UNICEF South Africa has clinched a three-year partnership with Soccerex, the premier business convention for football worldwide. The partnership was unveiled at the media conference when the Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) Member of the Executive Committee (MEC) for Finance and Economic Affairs, Paul Mashatile officially unveiled Soccerex.
“This is a great opportunity for the children of South Africa, both girls and boys”, said Julianna Lindsey, UNICEF South Africa Deputy Representative. “Soccerex is not only about soccer business, but also about children and giving children access to play. Our partnership with Soccerex gives us an opportunity as UNICEF to reach thousands of children, some who are playing soccer in dusty streets using a makeshift soccer ball made out of plastic bags.”
UNICEF South Africa will showcase its sports for development programme at Soccerex conventions over the next three years, in the lead-up to the FIFA 2010 World Cup, whilst seeking to engage the attention of some 5,000 delegates representing the business side of soccer on the development of children through sport.
In cooperation with the National Department of Education, the children’s agency has pledged its support to help improve the conditions of 585 of the most vulnerable and under-resourced schools in the country. This includes improvement in children’s access to sports and recreational facilities, equipment and training. The project is part of the adolescent development component of UNICEF’s child -friendly schools programme, which aims to help reduce young people’s involvement in risky behaviour that can lead to HIV infection.
“These schools are often desperately in need of a quality learning environment, equipment, infrastructure, coaches and playgrounds,” Lindsey noted.
Soccerex CEO, Duncan Revie said “We see this partnership with UNICEF as an opportunity to contribute towards a real legacy during our time in South Africa. Everyone knows the power of football to reach into the hearts and minds of young people, especially here in South Africa. This partnership will also offer encouragement to other companies looking for opportunities for their social responsibility programmes.”
UNICEF Activities at Soccerex
Giveaway materials will include the latest information on UNICEF’s Goals for Girls, a UNICEF/FIFA initiative to encourage the participation and development of girls through soccer and a related programme, Coaching Boys to Men.
UNICEF South Africa Representative Macharia Kamau will join FIFA’s Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, Federico Addiechi in a key panel discussion on Leaving a legacy: The commercial benefit of CSR, that aims to surface the commercial benefits of corporate good citizenship in the context of world football.
Speakers at the Soccerex partners media briefing were Duncan Revie, Soccerex CEO, Julianna Lindsey, Deputy Representative UNICEF South Africa, Barbara Creecy, Gauteng province’s Minister for Sports, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Tim Modise, Director of Communication of the Local Organising Committee for the FIFA 2010 World Cup, Sizwe Nzimande, Head of SABC Sport, Lin Glass of British Airways and Lucas Radebe, the South African soccer legend who captained the national team and Leeds United.