Stars Line up to endorse Let’s Play a Million Campaign
UNICEF and SuperSport team up to promote child development through sport
Johannesburg, 1 May, 2007…More than twenty big name South African celebrities have endorsed
the UNICEF and SuperSport Let’s Play a Million campaign, urging the public to donate one soccer
ball to help improve children’s lives through sport in the country’s under resourced communities in
the run up to 2010.
Several sports stars including Kaiser Chiefs’ Shaun Bartlett and Orlando Pirates’ Benedict Vilakazi,
helped kick start the massive campaign last Wednesday, contributing 5,300 balls in just one hour at the
pre-launch event hosted by KAYA FM in Johannesburg. The day before at Algoa FM in Port
Elizabeth, another 500 balls were raised.
As one of five participating radio stations around the country, KAYA FM will join East Coast Radio,
Heart FM, Algoa FM and OFM in promoting the campaign in the two-month long run up to the main
event - a dedicated all-day radiothon and SMS drive scheduled to take place on Wednesday, 27 June.
This week, other campaign launches will take place with partner stations in Durban and Cape Town
and expectations are high on upping the number of ball raised at these functions.
“Both UNICEF and SuperSport are extremely proud that these stars have put their names behind our
campaign, which is really about promoting the well being of children, their right to be children – to
play, learn, grow and develop to their fullest potential, all of which can be achieved through sport, ”
said Vaughan Bishop, Public Relations and Promotions Manager at SuperSport.
“So far, we have recorded public service messages from Natalie du Toit, Shaun Bartlet, amongst
others, he says. But it’s not only sport stars that are coming to the Let’s Play a Million party. “Pop
star, Heinz Winkler, the South African Idols winner; haute couture designer Gavin Rajah, musicians
Malaika and Danny K, amongst others, have pledged their support. We also have good indications of
participation from some of UNICEF’s international Goodwill Ambassadors, and we are very excited
about that,” he adds.
Why are the stars signing on to this programme in such big numbers? The answer for some lies in
their desire to give something back to their country by supporting UNICEF and its partners such as the
National Department of Education in their development programmes for children targeting specifically
the 585 schools in critical need of support.
Says footballer Shaun Bartlett, “This campaign is about creating opportunities and providing resources
to help children in poor communities grow up right. I did not have much growing up,” he says. “I’d
like today’s children to have better chance for success in their lives through sport and I will continue
to give not only my support but get my team mates on track to support this campaign.”
The television spots recorded by the stars urge SuperSport viewers and radio listeners to donate one
soccer ball by making one phone call that will help children in South Africa’s poor and under
resourced communities exercise their right to play.
As from 1 May, South Africans can sms "BALL" to 42500 to make as many donations as they wish to
the Let’s Play a Million campaign. Each SMS costs 30 rands.
So who’s next in the stars lineup? “We are talking to a lot of international folks who have responded
very well to our campaign. We’ll announce names when they’re in the bag”, says Bishop.
Remember, you too help realize children’s right to play. One call One ball.
No. of balls raised to date: 5,800
No. of balls needed to reach goal: 994 200
You can help us reach our goal of 1 million balls. Each SMS costs 30 rands.
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive,
from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing
countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic
education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.
UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and
For further information, please contact:
Yvonne Duncan, UNICF South Africa, Mobile: +27-12-561-3970 email@example.com
Gerrit Maritz, UNICF South Africa, Mobile: +27 79 499 4303 firstname.lastname@example.org
Caron Wilkinson, Rocket Science, Mobile: +27 83 772 2726 email@example.com