Volunteer’s Cup dream comes true

2010-07-14 00:00

TREVOR Chetty’s spirit of volunteerism has made his dream of meeting Spain, his favourite World Cup football team, come true.

Chetty from Hayfields is the IT manager at law firm Venn Nemeth & Hart, which allowed him time to volunteer for the 2010 World Cup.

He is also a football player who plays for Manhattans FC’s over-35 team under the Pietermaritzburg and District Soccer Association (Padsa).

“I put in many long hours and I would sometimes reach home at 2 am. I felt as if I had deserted my wife and kids during the month of the World Cup,” says Chetty.

“While I and many other volunteers were doing our bit to make the World Cup a success, we were sacrificing our time and effort. But it was all worth it in the end,” he says.

His role was to offer IT support to the media at Durban’s Moses Mabhida stadium.

He says it blew his mind to see the expertise and technology South Africa could offer.

“The excitement and experience is overwhelming and unforgettable. The IT&T volunteer team was involved in the preparation of the media centre, which provided a computer network for over 600 journalists and commentators.

“The big moments for me were the adrenaline rush while I was on the pitch behind the corner flag for the Portugal versus Brazil game — watching the crowd from the pitch and seeing Ronaldo of Portugal in action against Lucio of Brazil close up,” he says.

“My biggest payback came on the last game in Durban, the semi-final between Spain and Germany. I was supporting media crew behind the goals and was able to watch the goal mouth action close up.

“Thereafter one of the Fifa delegates escorted me to the Spain change room to disconnect some electrical equipment. I waited outside the change room ahead of the press and met some of the players as they left.

“I was eventually let into the change room where I met Fernando Torres, Sergio Ramos and Joan Capdevila. Torres is very humble and quiet. He is like a kid and kept mostly to himself and was very obliging in taking a photo with me.”

Chetty says he asked one of the other Spain players to be the photographer. “Ramos is more jovial and something of a prankster.”

Chetty says he spoke to the players, telling them he believed in them to win the final.

He says the funniest moment was when the German coach came to the Spanish change room to congratulate them.

“The coach even shook my hand and congratulated me, thinking I was part of the Spain contingent.

“We were over the moon to see the Spanish players become the champions. I felt like I knew some of the players personally, and will never forget my encounters,” he says.

“I’m grateful to my wife Farah and my kids Tevin and Tahlia, who sacrificed many long nights without me,” says Chetty.

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