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South African football stars join UNICEF and Soccerex delegation on field visit with young children in Finetown

UNICEF/South Africa/2008/Hearfield
© UNICEF/South Africa/2008/Hearfield
Celebrity advocate Shaun Bartlett, Kaiser Chiefs Striker shares a few tips with the football stars of the future.

Finetown, 3 July 2008… Celebrity advocates Shaun Bartlett, the Kaiser Chiefs Striker and Pitso Mosimane, Deputy Coach of Bafana Bafana, took time out to join UNICEF in hosting a delegation from Soccerex on a visit to a Finetown school community where UNICEF’s sports for development initiative is alive and kicking.

Community development partner Play Soccer, organised the field visit for the delegation which arrived to find over 100 children busy at play on a dusty patch of red earth, which doubles up as a soccer pitch at play time.

The laughter and excitement of the children was palpable as the celebrity advocates immediately took to the field and showed off their skills and joined in the fun and games.  

David Wright, Marketing Manager of Soccerex said, “It is amazing the difference that football can make to children’s lives. We are delighted that Soccerex can contribute to this positive process, thereby leaving a legacy for children from football in South Africa”.  

UNICEF invited the Soccerex delegation to visit the project to learn more about the organisation’s sports-based initiatives as it enters the second year of a 3-year partnership with the leader of the global business to business sports expo.

UNICEF/South Africa/2008/Hearfield
© UNICEF/South Africa/2008/Hearfield
David Wright, Marketing Manager of Soccerex joined the children in the fun and games.

Partnership aimed at development through soccer
UNICEF is the key sports for development partner with Soccerex ‘08, which will be held in Johannesburg again in November. The partnership, which is aimed at supporting the development of children in poor schools and communities through soccer, is part of UNICEF’s contribution to building a legacy for children in the run-up to 2010 and beyond.

This year, UNICEF and Soccerex have pledged expanded opportunities for advocacy and fund raising at the expo, including a competition to meet and interact with celebrity football players during the Soccerex football festival and special appearances by UNICEF experts on various discussion panels focusing on the future and impact of the sport.

Last year, Soccerex was attended by over 4,000 delegates, including UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Marcel Desailly, former Captain of the French national team.    

UNICEF, with partners like Play Soccer, supports children’s development through sports and recreation centred initiatives at community level.  With the 2010 world cup on the horizon, UNICEF and its partners see sports as vital tool for the development of children around the country.

Striker Shaun Bartlett couldn’t agree more, “It’s amazing how sport creates a child's smile!  I'm so pleased to be associated with UNICEF and to bring soccer to kids from disadvantaged communities in order to improve their quality of life”.

Download the press release [word] [pdf]

Related stories

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Marcel Desailly for Soccerex

UNICEF South Africa unveils a 3-year partnership with Soccerex

UNICEF and Soccerex team up to promote children’s development through sport





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