ESPN Outside the Lines video on youth soccer in shadow of World Cup


Screen shot from ESPN.com

ESPN recently published a short video titled “Tough Goals Ahead.”  You can see the video at this link (couldn’t embed into post): http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=4973258

The most poignant part of the video, in my opinion, is at the end, around the 5:50 mark.  Lahademi Monhedi, a former player now coach/father figure for youth teams in the Meadowlands area of Soweto, indignantly stated,

“People are angry.  Around here there is no World Cup…we just hear from the news there is a World Cup…for these boys there is no World Cup…there is no connection at all.”

These statements are a reflection of the inequities that are still alive and well in South Africa, now less than a 100 days to kick-off.  The video is largely about youth soccer and the challenges of life in the Meadowlands area of Soweto, only 6 miles from the gleaming new stadium Soccer City in Johannesburg, the result of a remarkable amount of investment.  The challenge of kids getting to and from school or soccer practice without succumbing to the pressures of drugs and alcohol; the challenge of staying committed to education when only 2 of 10 teachers show up to teach their classes.  All of these challenges are still commonplace in the shadow of the new stadium and I imagine they are shared all around the country.

Mr. Monhedi’s statements lie at the heart of this blog.  Will the legacy of the World Cup be a bright light but with a long shadow? Will it have “no connection” as he states, with the majority of the population?  Will it be a symbol of profligacy in the face of real economic and social needs?  Or will it be a spark for the country and region?  Time will tell, but the content of this video illustrates that there’s a lot more work to do.

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One Response

  1. If You are looking to watch the World cup 2010 online you can try http://world-cup-2010-fifa.com/ this is what i’ve been using to watch some of my favorite TV show at work during my lunch time and its an amasing the quality of the sound and video is superb.

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