She was once the princess of Greece and Denmark and now the Queen of Spain, but on Friday 09 July 2010, she was the guest of honor at the Khayalitsha football for Hope Center. Queen Sofia greeted skillz participants who were appropriately playing “find the ball,” a game whose title might describe Spain’s world-class style of play. However, this game is about HIV, not precision passing and hair-gel. Two teams stand opposite to each other passing a tennis ball behind their backs while the tennis ball is meant to represent HIV – the game symbolizes the difficulty of identifying an individual with HIV. Needless to say, the Queen was impressed by the games depth and tact, which led her to introduce herself to the young strategists. She then challenged the players to free kicks demonstrating her own aptitude for sport. Overall, the visit was a tremendous success and we were thrilled to share the final day of the Skillz Holiday programs with such an honorable guest.
Friday, July 9, 2010
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
FIFA President welcomes next generation
Ten lucky young people had more than one reason to cheer today at Soccer City in Johannesburg. Not only were they heading to watch the much anticipated quarter-final between Uruguay and Ghana courtesy of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ Ticket Fund but they were also invited by FIFA President, Joseph S. Blatter to join him before the match to share their experience of participating in one of the social development programmes supported by the initiative.
Five young coaches from Grassroot Soccer, a non-governmental organisation who use football as a tool in the fight against HIV / Aids, were joined by five children from Sporting Chance, an organisation using the power of sport to break down social barriers and positively impact the lives of children. All ten had one thing in common, they each ‘earned’ a ticket for the match through their participation in the respective programmes. The youngsters would otherwise have been unable to attend a match had it not been for the support of the Ticket Fund which was created in line with the philosophy of the FIFA President to use the 2010 FIFA World Cup to give something back to the African continent.
After the meeting, an energised FIFA President commented: "I was extremely touched by these children who have endured so many struggles in their lives and given their very best to earn a ticket to a world cup match through the Ticket Fund. Seeing them so excited just to be in the stadium, seeing them dancing and laughing was amazing - and I have to say from my heart, it deeply moved me. The spirit and attitude of these young people is truly inspirational.”