boston.com has just published a set of beautiful pictures of football in South Africa during the Confederations Cup. Included in the set are recent photos of how the construction of the Soccer City stadium is coming along. This stadium will be hosting the Opening Ceremony and is the final destination of The Ball as it travels from England.
Special Olympics just posted a story on their website, the main gist of which I’ve quoted here:
I had resigned myself to the fact that my son would never prosper in anything but seeing him participating in the young athlete activities I realised that he had a talent in sports and now I have hope that my son will prosper in something; sports. The happiness I saw in my son’s face on that day cannot be equalled to anything, by the time we were going back home all he wanted to acquire was a ball, he kept on asking me if I will by him a ball on our way home.
This had me on the verge of tears this morning — not tears of sadness, but of joy and anticipation. If this is a foretaste of what’s to come on The Ball’s journey to South Africa, then I can’t wait to get going. I’m really looking forward to the many ways in which The Ball can contribute to the great work that Special Olympics are doing.
In the meantime, if you want to contribute towards this boy’s dream of acquiring a ball (or at least acquiring access to one, which is in many ways more important than ownership) then please visit our JustGiving page and make a donation to Alive & Kicking, who will deliver footballs to our partners (including Special Olympics projects) in Africa. Or, if you prefer, you can go to Special Olympics’ donations page and support them directly.
I guess this is the blogging equivalent of a retweet, but I think this is a great story by 17-year-old Thandile Ntlebi, who lives in Township Khayelitsha, South Africa about how the children made their DIY footballs:
Firstly you look for old clothes or blankets. Then you put a few condoms around, which you blow up with your mouth, but not with too much air. Just so it’s the same size as a soccer ball. After this you put either a plastic bag or a piece of old clothing over the condom. Then to make it strong, you tear up the old clothing or blanket into long strips and tie the strips all around the condom to strengthen the shape of the ball and make it heavier. Once you can feel it bounces well, you take a strong plastic bag and wrap it around the ball. Lastly you reinforce it by wrapping strong rope or tire wire around it.
Coca Cola and FIFA have announced details of their World Cup trophy tour:
[The trophy] will begin its journey from the FIFA Headquarters on September 21, 2009, will travel around the world before arriving in the host country of South Africa on May 4, 2010. The total distance the tour will travel is 134,017 kilometers (83,274 miles) or more than three times the circumference of Earth.
Source: the press release
You get to see the trophy if you take part in Coca-Cola promotions in countries en route.