The first steps to rallying and mobilising 12 million South African school pupils behind the 2010 FIFA World Cup began in Soweto on the weekend with the launch of the South African Schools Partnership.
The partnership, between the national Department of Education, the 2010 FIFA World Cup Organising Committee South Africa and the Department of Sport and Recreation, is aimed at mobilising and educating pupils from the country's 30 000 schools about the first FIFA World Cup being held on African soil.
The objective is to promote mass participation of learners around the legacy themes of the World Cup, using education, music, arts, cultural activities and football
Launching the campaign at the Moletsane Sports Complex in Soweto Education Minister Naledi Pandor said the campaign would be rolled out in two phases. The first would involve the country's schools pupils assuming the identities of the countries that will be competing in the FIFA Confederations Cup 2009.
Schools will conducted research on and learnt about the countries who have qualified for the Confederations Cup. To date these are Brazil, United States, Iraq and Egypt.
The second phase would see be pupils writing essays about the competing countries, as well as art competitions and inter school football tournaments.
Addressing pupils from the eight schools that attended the launch of the partnership Pandor said, "You are the future world champions. We want to see you one day leading the South African soccer squad that will win the World Cup."
Pandor hopes that the campaign will encourage mass youth participation in football and excitement about the World Cup.
Dr Khoza said it was one of the Organising Committee's primary objectives to get the 2010 FIFA World Cup message to all corners of the country and the continent.
"South Africans may be crazy about soccer, but that's not the only motivation behind a program that is aimed at reaching 12 million learners across the country. Consequently, schools have been identified as a primary vehicle through which to get the 2010 FIFA World Cup messages not only to children, but indeed families and to communities in South Africa and also on the African continent," said Dr Khoza.
Source: South Africa: The Good News