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Children have a ball as Let’s Play a Million kicks off national distribution plan

© UNICEF/South Africa/2007/Jacobs
Famous SuperSport United footballers sign the balls given to aspirant players in Gauteng.

Pretoria, 12 Nov., 2007…   On a hot and dusty day in four townships of the greater Gauteng region this past weekend,  thousands of smiling children gathered for the start of the national distribution of over 100,000 soccer balls raised in Let’s Play a million television, radio and sms campaign mounted  by  UNICEF  sport for development partner  SuperSport.
SuperSport executive Vaughn Bishop described the experience as “gratifying and humbling as we rolled out to Berea, Kliptown, Orange Farm & Alexandra plus inner city recreation centres in the province.  The kids were in awe as the back doors of the convoy of FedEx trucks opened up to reveal thousands of soccer balls,” he said.
Kicking stylishly to show off their limited skills with their newly acquired Let’s Play soccer balls, and under close guidance of coaches from UNICEF community based partner Active Education, SuperSport United’s captain Ricardo Katza and his men, plus Bafana assistant coach Pitso Mosimane and volunteers from Play Soccer, the childen had a ‘ball’, Bishop said.

© UNICEF/SouthAfrica/2007/Jacobs
Thabo September, Ricardo Katza (SuperSport United’s captain) and Richard Rantjie with some of the happy children who eached received a football raised through the "Let's Play a Million" campaign.

Some four thousand five hundred balls were distributed over the November 10 and 11 weekend.    This coming weekend, 17 and 18 November, Soweto will be the target and SuperSport aims to distribute double the number of balls, kicking off distribution at Pimville stadium and proceeding to 15 different communities.

Last May SuperSport in partnership with UNICEF and a network of 5 top radio stations launched phase one of its Let’s Play a Million campaign which raised more than ZAR1million in donations to help purchase a million soccer balls for South African School children in the most underserved school communities in the country.  The campaign also helped to raise awareness of the grave social challenges children face and to encourage the formation of private public partnerships to mobilize local resources for school and community-based sport programmes for children, while reinforcing their right to play.  This approach directly supports the Government’s “mass participation in sport “strategy of the Government of South Africa, UNICEF said.

Also see:

Stars Line up to endorse Let’s Play a Million Campaign

UNICEF South Africa and SuperSport launch “Let’s Play a Million”





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