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Football for Hope WhizzKids return with new friends

Published by Oli Walsh
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Eight kids from Africaid's WhizzKids United programme have returned from a successful seven day trip to Cape Town, to celebrate the opening of the first Football for Hope Centre, part of FIFA's 20 centres for 2010, their legacy for next year's FIFA World Cup.
The kids were selected from Edendale and Lamontville townships by their trainers, based on their attitude and aptitude during the Life Skills programme, rather than on pure football ability. The eight kids were led by their trainer Nobuhle Majola, awarded her place for excellent work in 2009, with Marcus McGilvray and Oli Walsh assisting the delegation.
The trip gave the kids a chance to meet other streetfootball world network organisations, all part of FIFA's Football for hope movement, with teams from across South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Zambia and Brazil!
The programme involved the kids in a number of activities, looking at cross cultural exchange, cultural performances, team bonding exercises, discussion forums to share their life experiences, tourist trips to Khayelitsha and Table Mountain and of course the opening of the Football for Hope Centre and football tournament.
The centre was opened by FIFA president Sepp Blatter, before the tournament got underway. The focus of the tournament was not winning but fair play. All matches were played without referees, with the kids deciding the rules before the game. This was followed by a post match discussion to decide whether to award their opponents a fair play point.
It was an exhausting two days for the kids, playing a total of nine matches, with mixed results. The highlight was a 4-2 win over Brazil, with both teams taking Fair Play to a new level by celebrating the goals together! The tournament was eventually won by Altus Sport with Brazil taking the fair play award.
This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for the kids and would like to thank BDO and Virgin Active, Abbott and a private donor who auctioned an antique ring, for funding the trip.
Please look at our blog for more in depth insight into their trip.
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