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Children with an Alive & Kicking ball

Tag: Senegal


After three hours sleep, we are woken by Bashir from DHL, enthusiasm bursting down the telephone line.

Bashir from DHL SenegalBashir from DHL Senegal

Bashir soon becomes our trusted confidante, helping The Ball in any way he can. A well-travelled Senegalese man, he studied in America but decided to return home after Senegal upset France in the 2002 World Cup opening game.
“I bought a ticket right after the game, and got my ass home. It was awesome.”

He realised that this country is where he wants to be based. It is his home. Since returning, he has travelled all over Africa. Now he’s very happy as sales manager at DHL in Dakar. A company, he says, that has human values that he believes in.

Service with a smile at DHL DakarService with a smile at DHL Dakar
The Ball meets the friendly staff at DHL DakarThe Ball meets the friendly staff at DHL Dakar

DHL will feature frequently in this story from now on as they are The Ball’s logistics partner in sub-Saharan Africa. They are organising most of our travel and many of the relationships with officialdom on our behalf. We are delighted to be working with them.

The Ball glows!

Arrival in Senegal: Richard, you’ve done us proud

Arriving at about midnight, we are met by a lovely 20 degrees, a stream of people at the airport and relative chaos. Welcome to West Africa.

Phil and Richard meet at Dakar airportPhil and Richard meet at Dakar airport

Richard is there to meet us too, looking tanned and ready for action. Richard was instrumental in the development of The Ball. It was his suggestion that Phil and Christian meet him in Afghanistan in 2002 – and that they all travel to Korea & Japan from there – that led them to the idea of The Ball itself. He now lives in Dakar with his family, works in programme management for the Norwegian Refugee Council and is helping The Ball settle in to Senegal.

“Boys, I’ve got it under control,” he says.
And he most certainly has. We race off in the into the night. Straight to the hotel in Ngor which just happens to be right on the beach.

“Here is your kit boys.”
Cell phone: charged and full of credit. Guide book. Map. Starter cash. Hotel sorted.

Astounding. Thank you Richard. What more can we say?

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.