SOS Africa/Hyundai 2010 Football World Cup Project

In June 2010 South Africa hosted the Football World Cup; this was the first time that such an event had been hosted on African soil. This was hailed as an opportunity for South Africa to shine on the international stage. In the lead up to the competition, much time and money was poured into the country to ensure that the tournament was a success. However, there remained a significant danger that once the final goal had been scored, and the winning nation had been declared, the World Cup would leave South Africa without having made any lasting impact upon the country’s poorer communities. For the vast majority of the population, they would have heard of the coming of this competition and been involved in the exciting build up, but would not have had the opportunity to see any of the matches or partake in the festivities. Thanks to the Hyundai/SOS Africa Football World Cup Project, this was not the case.

logo.gif Link - HyundaiWCLogo.jpgLink - Rotary.gif

In the lead up to the competition, a partnership was formed between Hyundai, one of the World Cup’s leading sponsors and our very own SOS Africa, with the sole aim of bringing the World Cup to the townships of South Africa. To achieve this, the partnership developed a project which distributed 7,500 footballs and 50 sets of football equipment for schools, throughout the townships of the match playing cities.

This project worked in the following way:

  • As of the 22nd May 2010, 142 UK based Hyundai outlets held ‘Trade and Upgrade’ events. During these events, members of the public were encouraged to hand in used footballs (in good condition) and exchange them for new World Cup footballs. Each of these outlets also hosted fun activities for children and information on SOS Africa was issued with every football. 


  • To promote these events, Matt and Henry, the charity’s two presidents were interviewed on regional and national radio stations alongside former England football legend, John Barnes MBE.

Matt and Henry on the radio with John Barnes   Matt and Henry on the radio with John Barnes

  • Once all of the balls were collected, they were quality controlled and packaged up ready for shipment to South Africa. In the end 5,000 brand new balls and 50 sets of school football kits (goal posts, bibs, cones, whistles etc.) were added to the 2,500 used footballs already packaged ready for shipping, all courtesy of Hyundai.
  • During the World Cup, these footballs and kits were flown out to South Africa and delivered to Rotary HQ in Johannesburg, where we officially launched the project. The launch was hosted by John Barnes MBE and representatives from SOS Africa and Rotary SA. It was attending by the SOS Africa children, members of the press and members of the public.

SOS Africa and Rotary Launch their 2010 World Cup Project   Hyundai provided 5,000 balls and 50 kits for schools for the project   John Barnes Introduces the Project

The power of football   John Barnes presents footballs to the SOS Africa children   Children from local township schools are also presented with footballs

  • Following the project launch, the footballs and equipment were then transported to Rotary Clubs based in each of the 10 match playing towns and cities.
  • SOS Africa and Rotary South Africa then distributed these footballs and kits throughout the townships and township schools in each of the match playing cities, during the competition.

The Project in Action   The Project in Action   The Project in Action


  • Thanks to Hyundai, SOS Africa and Rotary, the local township children were able to enjoy the use of these footballs and kits in their local schools and clubs, and were able to replay the golden moments of their favourite players during the competition.

In an ideal world, we would have taken the poorer communities of South Africa to the World Cup matches. This is what they deserve, irrespective of their financial situations. As this was not possible, instead we brought the World Cup to them: “As we couldn’t take the people to game, we would bring the game to the people.”

Thanks to the support of Hyundai and Rotary South Africa, throughout this project, SOS Africa ensured that the World Cup could be enjoyed by the whole of South African society.

Throughout the project, SOS Africa kept a regularly updated online blog, so that its supporters could follow the progress of the project. To view the blog, click here.

To view the project photos, click here.