February 09, 2010
Football on Blaauwberg Beach
The soccer day was sponsored by Totalsports
The town of Atlantis, located off the N7 highway outside Cape Town, is a small community with a rich but turbulent history. In the past, the town has been thrust into the spotlight because of gangsterism, drug and alcohol abuse and prostitution among its youth. Initiatives, including the West Coast Environmental Co-operative, have researched and implemented uplifting developmental programs, to stimulate and involve youngsters, encouraging sobriety, growth and responsibility.
Adrian Solomons, the membership administrator for Cape Town Tourism and himself a proud resident of Atlantis, explains that his involvement in the town’s development saw him receive training as an environmental guide. He was trained to show visitors the area and its unique West Coast fauna and flora, as well as to introduce visitors to the community and its challenges.
“It’s going to be a long and challenging road for the town of Atlantis, but when people come together, support one another and stimulate the youth, we can make a difference. Young people are affected by crime and unemployment, and projects such as those being implemented by the Co-op must be encouraged and supported, as they make an impact.”
Mario and his friends enjoying Vitamin Water at half time
Cape Town Tourism, in partnership with the City of Cape Town, arranged for 20 young boys from Atlantis to enjoy an afternoon of relaxed fun, playing football on Blaauwberg Beach on Saturday January 23, 2010.
The event was sponsored by Glaceau Vitamin Water, Totalsports Cape Town, Nike and the City of Cape Town.
Totalsports regional manager, Steven Van Niekerk, was really moved to be a part of the day’s activities. ”We’re thrilled to be involved with Cape Town Tourism’s initiative; giving back to the community is something we don’t do often enough. Young people are the future of our country and by showing them the opportunities and the promise of success in sports, and football in particular, we somehow create hope. At Totalsports, we believe that sport is a way to grow young minds and encourage healthy living and thinking. The 2010 FIFA World Cup™ is going to be an incredible opportunity for the youth of this country to witness the promise of football.”
A young fan learning to blow a vuvuzela
Area manager for the Central and Coastal regions of the Cape metropole, Annely Ickua, explains why the ‘Live it. Love it. LOUDER!’ campaign was initiated by Cape Town Tourism: “Summer in Cape Town is a beautiful and memorable thing. It’s hardly news anymore that we’re going to be playing host to one of the world’s most anticipated events, the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. As an organisation we have been making sure we are ready, working really hard to mobilise the citizens of the city to take ownership of their destination, its reputation and its readiness for the tournament in June. We have also been working to explain what ‘Louder’ means in terms of the campaign. Being proud of one’s city and believing that it’s yours is one way of expressing your Loudness. Blowing your vuvuzela and “living your city” is a way of expressing your ‘Loudness’. Getting the youth excited about the games and their city is an expression of ‘Loudness’. Our slogan, Live it. Love it. LOUDER!, expresses our feelings about Cape Town, and this is what the Atlantis event hoped to achieve.”
The weather was perfect for the soccer day
The football on the beach was played in perfect weather and in front of a bumper crowd. The youngsters played a round-robin, with the losing teams eliminated ahead of a cracker of a final. The winners named themselves “Chelsea”, and all the teams had a great time. Mario, a teenager from Atlantis who showed some amazing talent, and was the youngest player on any of the teams, said: “Football is my life. I’ve never travelled to Blaauwberg before and I love the beach. Growing up in Atlantis, we live far from town, so this opportunity was very, very cool and much appreciated.”
The games were refereed by Nike Icon and the tension was palpable, as the crowds were treated to a total of five goals before the final. It was a truly enjoyable and fun-filled day for the youngsters, and especially for their fans.
The teams fought hard to win the tournament and the group that ended up at the top of the leader board will now face off against footballing youngsters from the Du Noon informal settlement, on Saturday February 6, 2010.