HAMMANSKRAAL, South Africa – To inspire children and demonstrate that through play all things are possible, Chevrolet revealed a completely revitalized football pitch for the Mabu-a-tlou Primary School in the village of Hammanskraal in South Africa this past weekend.
Named Mabu-a-tlou Lebala la Mestshamkeo (“Mabu-a-tlou Playground”), Chevrolet renovated the pitch in collaboration with The Dreamfields Project, the non-government organization (NGO) that provides resources for playing football in township and rural schools across South Africa. The pitch renovation is part of Chevrolet’s “What Do You #PlayFor?” global campaign.
The new pitch will enable greater participation in football for the Hammanskraal Girls Soccer program and surrounding community, fostering female empowerment and greater self-respect and self-esteem.
“We identified the project in Hammanskraal a while ago as we realized there was a real need for football facilities in this area,” said Tim Hendon, Chevrolet Brand Manager, South Africa. He added that it helps to mould young minds, taking attention away from harmful influences and redirecting energy to more productive places. “Together, in partnership, we can move the goal posts and bring dreams to life. All it takes is dedication, determination, an unrelenting passion and a love for the game. Sport can really change lives.”
Local dignitaries, representatives from Mabu-a-tlou and dozens of schoolgirls joined Chevrolet executives in a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a series of football “friendlies” to help 10- and 11-year-old girls from a variety of backgrounds in the school district learn about self-esteem and friendship through play.
Manchester United legend Gary Bailey, who grew up in South Africa and started his football career at Wits University in Johannesburg, participated in the celebration.
Mabu-a-tlou Lebala la Mestshamkeo is Chevrolet’s third pitch project this year. In April, Chevrolet revitalized a pitch in Bandung, Indonesia, on behalf of a local organization that uses football to increase the quality of life for people living with HIV and drug addiction. In June, Chevrolet donated a pop-up soccer pitch in Chicago (USA) to help a youth and community development organization transform a neighborhood associated with gang culture into a place where children could play and learn valuable life skills.
In addition to the pitch revitalization, Chevrolet, in partnership with One World Futbol Project, reached a global milestone today in Hammanskraal with delivery of its 1 millionth One World Futbol.
Since Chevrolet became the founding sponsor in 2012, One World Futbol Project has delivered Chevrolet-branded One World Futbols to more than 60 countries and has brought play to more than 30 million youth in Africa, Americas, Asia and Europe, including close to 200,000 balls in Sub-Saharan Africa. Chevrolet committed to support the donation and distribution of 1.5 million Chevrolet-branded One World Futbols over three years.
The nearly-indestructible One World Futbol represents a breakthrough in technology for a recreational, multi-sport ball. The ultra-durable One World Futbol ball never needs a pump and never goes flat, even when punctured multiple times, and will last for years in even the harshest play environments.
“For the young girls here in Hammanskrall and for youth living in challenging environments around the world, being able to play with a football offers an outlet for joy and hope-to dream of a better future,” said Tim Jahnigen, founder and chief innovation officer, One World Futbol Project, who with co-founder Lisa Tarver attended today’s ceremony. “Play is in our DNA. We believe that play is a necessity of life-children need to play to learn and grow. Together with our founding sponsor Chevrolet, we envision a world where every child will have an opportunity to play. The revitalization of this pitch and the delivery of the 1 millionth One World Futbol further our collective goal to bring the transformative power of play to children worldwide.”