Football means different things to many people, but it always means something. The sport transcends barriers of race, social status and religion. Many companies have used football to enhance their brands and NGOs use the sport to strategically reach out to people. The aim is to be associated with its unifying power.
Globally, the sport has played many roles; to civil war amputees in Sierra Leone it is a beacon of hope and expression of strength while in Botswana, as in many other countries, it is a vehicle to reach out and impact lives positively. GoalClick is an online platform that shows how football has been used to change and give life to those in disheartening situations in different parts of the world. The ambitious project aims to give people all over the world a chance to show what football means to them, by sending analogue cameras around the globe so they can capture the game as they see it. Local communications agency, The Dialogue Group, recently linked the GoalClick project up with Swift Mpoloka and now Botswana is represented in the global project. See Botswana’s photos and read Swift’s interview at https://www.goal-click.com/botswana/
In Botswana, the GoalClick photographer and storyteller Swift Mpoloka uses football to impart hope, stir dreams and paint a vivid picture of the possibilities of the world to children and youth in a poor area. He is the founder of Pula Sports Development Association and through this NGO he managed to build the first futsal park in the country, in Bontleng. Swift believes that football has been the cornerstone of this establishment and that it has proven to be a great way to inspire and motivate young people towards a better future. The sport offers an opportunity for interactions with people they would on a normal basis have no access to. They get to dream of a better tomorrow while learning lessons on discipline, passion and persistency and help change their lives.
Seeing the global GoalClick narrative in its diversity is testament to the fact that while football might mean a lot of different things to a lot of people, it always means something. Football has been used to birth hope, educate, bring peace, teach life principles, express passion and change destinies. “We are so excited to have worked with Swift Mpoloka. Botswana is a proud addition to this global showcase, and, his pictures tell the story of our football to the world,” said Tonderai Tsara, Director of The Dialogue Group.