SA Team off to the Homeless World Cup in Wales

The South African Homeless Soccer Team leaves for Cardiff this week to participate in the 17th Homeless World Cup. They will compete in a pool of 64 teams from 50 countries worldwide.

Many of the team are travelling overseas for the first time. Flexiroam Africa is the official data supplier and will keep the players and their support team connected to friends and family back home to share every moment of their world cup experience.

The South African team is made up of the best the country has to offer after a nationwide trial. This tournament is about more than winning, it’s about changing lives through the power of sport.

The 8 man squad boasts fine players like Sibusiso Joseph Dyantyi, Tankiso Vincent Lesia, Wade Samuels, Sinesipho Dayimani,  Katleho Moses Molieana, Lucky Tyokwana,  Sbonelo Ngubane and Yandisa Nomadluka. The tournament is not only aimed at those living on the streets but people who have been marginalised, individuals who were involved in gangsterism and drugs as well as people with no jobs and no prospects.

Clifford Martinhuis, founder of the NPO Oasis on the Cape Flats, couldn’t be prouder of his team. “We are extremely excited to be doing this again. This will be our 10th year as Oasis running this process and touring with almost 80 people so far over the years. It’s important to say to the community that change is indeed possible and that lives can be changed through sport. We acknowledge support from our government minister in the Western Cape, Anroux Marais.”

Head coach Ricardo de Reuck says, “We are excited about taking the team to the World Cup excited about the young people giving them an opportunity and to change their lives.”

More than just a tournament, the Homeless World Cup aims to break the stereotypes surrounding the homeless but more importantly actively effect change through sport.

The players are delighted to represent our beautiful country and have been training hard to make us proud. They are proving that change is happening, not just possible.

The special send off for the team was attended by the Executive Mayor, Dan Plato, the Minister of Social Development, Sharna Fernandes and the Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais, who delivered the keynote speech. A live performance by Cape Town Afro-pop band, Hot Water, added a festive touch.

Flexiroam Africa GM, Jacqueline Aylett, says “We are really excited to be involved with this event and filled with respect at the amazing work taking place at Oasis. The number of homeless people in Cape Town is growing and as citizens and business owners, we must find a way to assist. For Flexiroam Africa, it’s very special to know that we can keep the players and their team connected with those back home. This makes such a difference when you’re far from home and can instantly share news and pictures with your loved ones. Our very best wishes go with the team.”



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“The connectivity project had to be completed in only ten weeks. Even with the short
timeline, Jackie was determined to meet each deadline at every step. She demonstrated
incredible leadership in envisioning a project beyond the scope of any other entrepreneur or
organization our team met with to discuss the potential of this project. While others came up
with limited solutions, Jackie went above and beyond in finding creative solutions to
individually source and provide data packages in each of the different countries and
continents where our delegates needed access, including over 500 delegates from the
African continent.

While this particular project was created to provide connectivity for our delegates to
meaningfully participate in AIDS 2020: Virtual, this project has the potential to expand far
beyond its initial scope. Already, there has been an interest by other international institutions
who have lauded this project as an example of what future virtual events and organizations
must do in order to ensure equity and accessibility for the foreseeable future. Many
delegates who received data and/or mobile device packages from Flexiroam had zero or
very limited prior access to data. Now with access to this technology, these individuals have
the opportunity to continue to be connected digitally worldwide.

Jackie has been an invaluable partner and leader in helping us to pilot this incredibly
innovative project. Without her and her Flexiroam team, we would not have been able to
provide digital connectivity and accessibility to almost 1 000 delegates most in need of

Emily T Blitz
Director, Conferences
International AIDS Society