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FIFPro extended its partnership with the Balls To Poverty Campaign until the end of 2013. The worldwide representative of all professional footballers is happy to offer continuing support to the campaign.

 

FIFPro started the partnership in 2010, during the World Cup in South Africa.

 

Tony Higgins, FIFPro’s spokesperson on Corporate Social Responsibility, visited Balls To Poverty events in South Africa, 2010. ‘Board member Bobby Barnes and I attended a coaching session with Balls to Poverty in the Khayelitsha township near Cape Town. Although the hardship and poverty were obvious to see, the interest and enthusiasm of the children was a delight to witness. The power of football to lighten up children's lives made it a very humbling experience. FIFPro is happy to offer continuing support to the campaign.’

 

With the support of FIFPro and its financial contribution over the past two years, the Balls To Poverty Program has been able to purchase around 2,500 high quality leather footballs that have been distributed across eighteen township areas of Cape Town, South Africa. They have gone to among others local football projects, schools, school football teams, local football associations.

 

The footballs are being used on a daily basis to offer alternative ways for young people to engage in healthy and educational activities. The distribution of these footballs has provided access to games for thousands of young South African children, supporting many in their aim to avoid the traps of gangsterism et cetera.

 

In addition to the supply of equipment, the Balls To Poverty program has educated 160 football coaches from these township communities on four day coach education programs in the last two years (600 since it started in 2005). FIFPro representatives have teamed up with the South African Footballer Players’ Union (SAFPU) to provide around 15 places on this scheme for former professional players and members of the Union.

 

Sport, and in particular football, is used to engage young people in after-school clubs and weekend tournaments, run by these local coaches and the balls act as a tool to educate these young people about the dangers that many face. The main issues in these deprived communities are; high levels of crime, drug use and lack of awareness around health issues such as safe sex etc.. (levels of HIV and AIDS are very high in all of these communities).
 

 

 

 

 

 

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