Yesterday saw the launch of South Africa’s biggest grassroots football development programme – the construction of the 1st Football Turf of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ Organising Committee South Africa Legacy Project.
FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke and 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee Chief Executive Officer, Dr Danny Jordaan, South African Football Association President, Kirsten Nematandani, the MEC for Sport, Arts and Culture in North west Province, Ms Grace Pampiri and National Lotteries Board chairman Professor Ntshengedzeni Nevhutanda officiated at the sod turning ceremony of the first Football Turf in the Mogwase Region just outside Sun City near Rustenburg in the North West Province.
This is the first of 52 Football Turfs – one in each of the SAFA Regions – which will be built as part of this project. Most of the sites identified to date are in the most rural areas of South Africa's provinces and will lay the basis of transforming football across the country.
The Holy Family Combined School, where 1000 children from the Mogwase go to further their education, was chosen as the first site for the project because of its history of academic and cultural achievement which has seen them maintain a 100 per cent pass rate for the last four years.
To date the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund has committed 170.1 million rand to build 27 football turfs for the 2010 FIFA Legacy Project. This is the biggest project that the National Lottery has funded in sport since its inception.
This commitment has allowed for the selection of the first 9 sites - one in each province. A further two sites per province will then be identified. Following this, and contingent on additional funding, the remaining sites will be identified until all 52 sites have been developed.
“For the first time in their lives, thousands of our footballers across our country will be able to play the game they love on a decent football surface and this can only bode well for the quality of football and footballers that will be produced from this project. Each of the clubhouses will be equipped with a small education centre with computers where education, life-skills, leadership and health programmes will be conducted as part of a youth or community development programme. We call on these communities to take pride and ownership of these facilities, to look after them and to ensure that they are utilized to their benefit,” said Jordaan.
Jordaan said the project will also help communities like Mogwase by empowering them in their struggle against poverty. “Every day in South Africa thousands of young boys and girls are forced to play their favourite game on the dusty streets of our townships. They have very little prospect of leaving those streets to pursue a career – of any sort – whether it be in football or business. I am confident that this project will make a difference and that many young stars will emerge from these facilities. I want to thank the National Lotteries Board for their bold decision to support this project. They can be sure that the poorest of the poor, our grassroots football players and communities will benefit from this project”.
Issued by the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa Communications Department
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