Thursday, June 10, 2010

World Cup Fever – there is no cure!!

This Friday is the first match of the World Cup with home team South Africa playing Mexico at Johannesburg Soccer Stadium and the whole world will be watching. With this being only the third time South Africa has been to the World Cup compared to Mexico’s fourteenth, Mexico is favoured to win, however, anything can happen.

World Cup Fever is highly contagious and it is spreading like wild fire to every village and town throughout the world. You have probably seen it here in Canada. Flags you don’t recognize flying from cars, on front lawns and pasted to apartment windows. Soon random car horns will be heard and in some countries shots will ring out into the night sky. If sport can bring the world together, then football (soccer) is the sport to do it. With 32 teams from all over the globe, everyone can find a team to cheer for.

According to a Statistics Canada Report published in 2008, Soccer is now the number one sport of children age 5 to 14, beating out swimming, hockey, basketball and baseball in participation rates. So why the sudden popularity of Soccer, especially here in Canada? Some say it’s the game’s simplicity that makes it so popular. Others say it is because it transcends wealth. It is played in every country, by every ethnic group and religion. Any skill level can play the game and still enjoy it. You don’t need a proper pitch or even a goal post. No expensive equipment is needed, just a ball and the will to play.

As the world comes together to watch the games, read about some of the heroes of the sport in SIRC’s Collection.

SOCCER SAVIOR. Wahl, Grant, Sports Illustrated 5/24/2010, Vol. 112 Issue 22, p52
The article profiles professional soccer player Didier Drogba of the Ivory Coast, who will play in the 2010 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament. A discussion of Drogba's athletic ability and popularity, and of the role that he played in helping to end a civil war in the Ivory Coast, is presented.
A GRINGO'S GAME. Segura, Melissa, Sports Illustrated 5/24/2010, Vol. 112 Issue 22, p60
The article profiles professional soccer player Clint Dempsey of Texas, who was born Clinton Drew Dempsey and will play in the 2010 FIFA World Cup soccer tournament. A discussion of Dempsey's athletic ability and unique soccer playing style is presented. Dempsey's soccer playing philosophies are discussed.
A DIFFERENT KIND OF HOPE. Geddes, Mike, FIFA World Dec2009, Issue 7, p48
The article features the Khayelitsha Football for Hope Center, the first of the 20 Centres for 2010 as part of the official campaign of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The center will be officially inaugurated on December 5, 2009 after the Final Draw, as part of the Football for Hope Center Kick-Off. Prominent personalities attending the event include Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) President Joseph S. Blatter, Western Cape Province Premier Helen Zille and South African international soccer player Lucas Radebe.

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