The Cape Town Soccer Route
Includes: Rendezvous with Cape Town Soccer experts, local soccer match in township, traditional lunch.
A chorus of inhuman voices bellows a strident salute that could rival the elephant population of Addo Park for volume. A sea of hands is raised in appreciation, and the announcer gives forth a jubilant cry of Laduma! for the benefit of those crowded around radios and TVs back home.
The place is Cape Town's Hartleyvale Stadium, the occasion is a showdown between Orlando Pirates and the local Santos FC, and the hullabaloo is being generated by a very unheavenly host of vuvuselas - the uniquely South African trumpet-like contraption that gives a whole new meaning to the term "noise-maker." Soccer is alive and stirring the blood across the land.
The Cape Town Soccer tour celebrates soccer (or football) culture in South Africa through all standards and economic levels. From the Camps Bay beachfront to Gugulethu township, from stadiums outfitted with every state-of-the-art luxury, to stretches of bare earth merely cleared of broken glass, we will explore places where the love of the game conquers all obstacles. We will see stark evidence of the great divides that linger on in this and every other facet of society, and how they are overcome through the unifying power of the shared passion for football. The conditions may vary, but the dreams are all the same.
On an afternoon’s journey, we’ll meet local football professionals whose lives and stories are woven into the soccer history of Cape Town. Their infectious and heartfelt enthusiasm for football will prime you to get caught up in the spirit of soccer training sessions (and when possible, soccer matches) of soccer clubs big and small. Visitors will be encouraged to participate, so willing soccer lovers will have a chance to get involved in a taining session at grass routes level!
Joe, a black football coach, will explain the dynamics of soccer in affluent Camps Bay, where he trains his soccer team of white youngsters. At the other extreme, you will witness the talent and indomitable enthusiasm of up-and-coming soccer players in a township, where pennies are turned over for months to make the price of a pair of soccer boots. We will meet Winnie, whose house next to a Guguletu soccer field serves as headquarters for a women’s soccer team. We will visit great soccer stadiums in the making, and get a glimpse of the Herculean enterprise underway in constructing FIFA's Soccer World Cup infrastructure for 2010. At the same time, we will discover how soccer is building bridges of a less tangible nature; connecting South Africans to each other and to the world. You will encounter people for whom developing and nurturing the football sport is a lifetime commitment and a labour of love. Even those who are less than fanatic about soccer will catch South African football fever after this tour. It’s all about people who inspire.
Article: Football in South Africa