"A milestone event in the history of the University of Pretoria."
That is how the Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Prof Cheryl De La Rey described the launch of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Legacy Project, a joint venture by the University of Pretoria, Italian Sports Bank (ICS) and Italian Football Federation launched at the Mamelodi Campus on Monday, 21 June.
The Mamelodi Campus – a hub for community engagement activities, its relationship with the community and, in particular, schools of the area – was identified as the preferred location for the project.
In a survey conducted earlier, the Mamelodi after-school programme focusing on consolidating and enriching Mathematics and Science for secondary school learners, provided interesting possibilities and a potential link for the Italian project, as they had indicated the need for sports recreation programmes in addition to the academic ones.
The Mamelodi Campus has a football pitch that needs upgrading and became the preferred location for the project as the University’s Football Club showed an interest in becoming involved in the programme as part of their community engagement commitments.
The Italian Embassy, serving as representative for the Italian Sports Bank (ICS) and the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), and the University of Pretoria subsequently reached an agreement. Due to the support of the ICS and the FIGC, under the patronage of the Italian Embassy, a football development programme involving the schools in the area will take place on the Mamelodi Campus under the auspices of the University’s football programme.
Prof De Le Rey said the University is proud to be playing an active role in reassuring a legacy that will be treasured long after the World Cup Tournament has gone.
“The World Cup Tournament is undoubtedly a national pride building opportunity. We have rallied together in order to ensure longer term socio-economy development,” added Prof De La Rey.
Amongst the other dignitaries present were Mr Emilio Menzione, the Italian ambassador to South Africa, Mr Giancario Abete, President of the Italian Football Federation and Mr Andrea Cardinaletti, President of the Italian Sports Bank.
The launch of the project also comprised a “mini” football tournament between eight secondary schools from the community. Each school was presented with a complete football kit.