For a month, the world watched in awe and wonder as the 2010 FIFA World Cup unfolded in South Africa.
Initial fears of crime, poor organisation and a lack of visitors were soon dispelled as the World Cup came to life in a colourful and noisy display of African hospitality and unbridled energy and excitement.
I was based in Cape Town to cover the spectacle for our website and shuttled between the glorious 70 000-seater Green Point Stadium which staged eight matches and the Cape Town FIFA Fan Fest in the city centre, where thousands of fans turned out to watch matches on a giant TV screen.
The Fan Fest soon became the social gathering place to be as fans from all over the world turned up, decked out with face paint and national attire to follow the excitement on the big screen. The Cape Town Fan Fest was one of 16 across the world, which saw more than 6 million fans watching the 64 matches in a peaceful, joyful and colourful manner over the course of the tournament.
The Green Point Stadium, an architectural wonder, transformed one into another world of football artistry on the pitch and a constant cacaphony of vuvuzelas sweeping through the dome.
And then, after the drama of the group stages, the shocks and surprises, the controversies and penalty shoot outs, and Ghana’s agonising defeat by Uruguay, there were only two teams left to contest the final at Soccer City on July 11 - Spain and Holland.
I travelled to Johannesburg and once again received photo pitch accreditation to take my place amongst 90 000 fans in Africa’s biggest stadium. Spain went on to create history by winning the final for the first time in their history, but it was Africa, and specifically South Africa, who created history by successfully hosting an unforgettable World Cup for the first time in Africa. It was a magical month and a once in a lifetime experience, but now that its over, it’s important to build on that patriotism and pride and to bridge the social divides that still exist in our societies.
Back home in Namibia, our boxers continue to make waves in Africa, with Paulus Ambunda successfully defending his WBO African bantamweight title in Windhoek in July.
It was a tough fight as South Africa’s Klaas Mboyane pushed him all the way but Ambunda was a unanimous winner on points as he chalked up his 13th successive pro victory. The Boxing Bonanza also saw the return of Wilbeforce ‘Black Mamba’ Shihepo who was back to his devastating best as he KO’d Innocent Kamaushi of Zambia in the fourth round.
In this month’s issue we also report on the MTC Rugby Premier League which is heading for an exciting finish; the National Cycling and Mountain Bike Championships; the National Indoor Swimming Championships; and the popular FNB Classic Clashes, to mention just a few.
With the 2010/11 MTC Premiership set to start next month we invite you to enter our competition, in which you can win a top of the range cell phone sponsored by MTC, if you correctly choose the winner of the 2010/11 MTC Premiership.
As an added bonus we offer you a chance to relive all the drama and excitement of the 2010 FIFA World Cup by purchasing a special commemorative DVD of photos, videos and commentary of this unforgettable sporting spectacle. Make sure you don’t miss out on this special offer! Turn to Page 31 for more details.
Namibia Sport once again showed steady growth on its website last month.
By the 24th of July we had already surpassed our previous record for total hits per month, while out Total Hits scaled new heights by breaking the 1,1 million mark for the first time.
No doubt our special World Cup website in collaboration with FNB contributed to this and if you have not visited it yet, make sure you do at www.namibiasport.com.na/worldcup
We invite advertisers to come on board and make use of our website to reach our growing community of sport fans across the world. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss our special website rates as well as our magazine advertising rates.