German firm’s ‘Big Kick’ to SA

2010-05-06 00:00

A GERMAN insurance company has organised a charity event that will see a team of about 2 000 Germans dribble a football in a relay format from Germany to Johannesburg.

The event, dubbed the The Big Kick, was organised by German insurance company Hamburg Mannheimer Insurance (HMI) in an attempt to raise funds for the German charity A Heart for Children. Proceeds from the project will go towards helping underprivileged children in Africa.

The journey, which began on April 23 in Hamburg, is scheduled to end on June 10 in Johannesburg, the day before the 2010 Fifa World Cup begins.

The European leg of the venture will see the football being dribbled through Germany, Austria and Italy. Participants will be travelling on bicycles for the entire duration of the European leg, taking turns to dribble the ball.

Logistics have determined that once the football enters Africa, other modes of transport will have to be used to get it to Johannesburg. Bicycles, boats and aircraft will all be used, though the football will be dribbled along the ground in eight African countries. The countries are Tunisia, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana and South Africa.

The current team of charity workers, all employees of HMI, is still in Germany and will be entering Austria soon.

The Big Kick to Johannesburg will work much the same as the Olympic Torch Relay, as 2006 Fifa World Cup hosts, Germany, hand over the baton to 2010 Fifa World Cup hosts, South Africa. The distance that each participant travels will determine how many points he or she accumulates, and ultimately how much money is donated to the charity.

By the time the football arrives at the Deutsche Internationale Schule in Auckland Park, Johannesburg, it will have travelled over 10 500 km across 11 countries, and for over 1 000 hours.


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