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Children with an Alive & Kicking ball

Tag: Gaborone

School Ball

The Ball is greeted in spectacular style at the latest school visit here in Botswana. So far, it’s been schools, schools, schools all the way in Botswana — Special Olympics seem determined to show us what they are doing on the ground here, and we are duly impressed by what’s occurring.

The Ball... The BallThe Ball… The Ball

Suburban Gaborone seems, on the face of it, to consist of endless strip-malls selling the usual corporate South African stuff, mostly shoes, it seems. But this school seems to want to show us what makes Botswana special.

The latest ball carrierThe latest ball carrier

We’ve been brought to schools which integrate those with special needs and are impressed by the professionalism and dedication of the staff towards their charges. This school is no exception.

A singing receptionA singing (not signing) reception

Wer are greeted by traditional singing and dancing by the children, their voices filling the air with harmony and rhythm. Special needs pupils are part of the reception, not apart from it. Our hearts are warmed and our feet are tapping.

The Ball is for everyoneThe Ball is for everyone

When football is used to its full, there seem to be no limits to the barriers that it can bring down. Everyone plays their part, everyone gets involved — and everyone is important in this process.

Special schools

It’s an early start after a crazy dash through the Kalahari where we got excited by our first South Africa street sign…

South Africa boundOur first sign of South Africa

Our first school visit takes us to Segopotso School in Kanye, where 700 school children are eagerly awaiting The Ball. Christian is determined that every single one of them should have the chance to sign it. Time constraints don’t allow this, however, and a scrum develops as each and every child wants to sign The Ball.

Mission impossible? Can everyone sign The Ball?Mission impossible? Can everyone sign The Ball?
700 kids and The Ball700 kids and The Ball

We move to the football field where a Unified Football team of pupils with and without intellectual disabilities play against a team of teachers. It is a lot of fun and the game ends in a draw.

Children crowd the camera to be in the pictureChildren crowd the camera to be in the picture
The children's Unified Football teamThe children’s Unified Football team

The Ball 2018 left England on 25th March 2018 and travelled to the World Cup in Russia.

The Ball 2014 kicked off from England on 9th Jan 2014 and headed to the World Cup in Brazil.

The Ball 2010 left England on 24th Jan 2010 headed to the Opening Ceremony in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Ball 2006 travelled from London to the Opening Ceremony in Munich, Germany.

The Ball 2002 was carried 7000 miles across Europe and Asia to the World Cup finals in Korea & Japan.