"Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country".
This famous quote, made by John F Kennedy during his US presidential inauguration in 1961, has never been more important for South Africa than right now. With the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009 and the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ on the horizon it is vital that the citizens of South Africa pull together to contribute to the success of these two prestigious FIFA tournaments.
Thousands of South Africans followed this call and applied to be volunteers for the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009. With almost 40 000 South Africans applying to fill around 4000 volunteer positions it is obvious that the nation is behind both the FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
The volunteers came through to the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee's (OC) headquarters at SAFA House in Johannesburg for a training workshop. The OC thought it would be a good time to give something back to these selfless South Africans. The volunteers were given a great surprise when some well known South Africans made an appearance. Former Bafana Bafana stars Mark Fish, Doctor Khumalo and Phil Masinga, who are all part of the OC's ambassador's programme, came to congratulate the volunteers on their contribution to the FIFA Confederations Cup.
"These events will not be possible without you, thanks for availing yourself" said Doctor Khumalo to the crowd of ecstatic volunteers. The whole room filled with excited chatter as all three of the ambassadors came through to say their thanks to the selfless group. For the volunteers it was a special moment to be thanked by people they consider as heroes. "This is my best day this year, I never thought I will interact with these guys, ever" said one excited volunteer.
The ambassador's programme is an initiative set up by the OC that uses the services of famous football personalities to promote the tournament as well as to assist the youth of South Africa with football workshops around the country.