- Len Hill, Martin Boyce, Steve Goodall
- We are three guys from the Isle of Wight that are flying to South Africa to work alongside other football fanatics as part of an organisation known as Lionsraw. South Africa 2010 is the debut Lionsraw Special Project. Lionsraw is taking a 130 strong squad of football fans to Durban, South Africa for two weeks during the World Cup. The Lionsraw team will operate in ‘The Valley of a Thousand Hills'', the epicentre of the World's HIV / AIDS crisis. Alongside existing local charities the team will help in ‘construction projects' and ‘soccer academies' for deprived local children during the day. Each evening the squad will retire to our fanzone for the full world cup tour experience.
Wednesday, 23 June 2010
Day Ten - back on site
Today we were back on site and the race is on to get as much finished as we possibly can before the weekend. Thanks for all your prayers, as they delivered us a brilliant solution to the scaffolding problem. We used hammers and screwdrivers to knock holes in the end walls which supported lengths of timber as makeshift scaffolding. Both Pauls bravely clambered up onto this structure and managed to build most of the end gables. Phil and John practised their gymnastics on the roof trusses to fix the insulation foil and pearling. At the end of the day, we had three sections of tin in place.
Steve and Neil continued to work on their steps / patio and, amazingly, it scrubbed up really well just in time for the arrival of the TV cameras from SABC. Jon Burns was interviewed about the work which Lionsraw is doing in South Africa and the clip will feature on South African TV in the next few days. Jon is booked to return to Russell and Precious’s house for an interview with the BBC Match of the Day team on July 6th – to be aired on July 7th during coverage of the semi-final in Durban. Various members of the Lionsraw team have been interviewed for radio stations and newspapers in the UK, so hopefully more people will learn about the positive legacy we’re going to leave in South Africa. Who knows, perhaps some will be inspired to get involved for the next Lionsraw project in Brazil in 2014.
After work today there wasn’t time to get back into Durban before the England game kicked-off, so all the Lionsraw project teams met up in the On Cue snooker hall to watch the game. It was great to see a bit more spirit from the England team and we definitely outplayed Slovenia, but typically, we spurned countless chances and kept everybody sweating until the final whistle. It’s great that England are through to the next round, but all the missed chances cost us first place in the Group as the USA team snatched a winner in the 94th minute of their game.
As I write this, history is being made in Wimbledon, where Mahut and Isner are locked in combat at 59 games all in the fifth set. All sorts of records are tumbling, for the longest game, longest set, most aces, but the most amazing aspect of these heroics is the fact that they have replaced the Germany game in the Lionsraw FanZone! When the tennis was finally called off the day, we learnt that Germany had won, so it is England against Germany on Sunday. This should be a fantastic finale to our last day in South Africa.
Tomorrow is the last day that we’ll have the full team on-site, and we have a huge amount left to do, so please continue to pray for the work we’re doing. We are all exhausted, but desperate to get as much done as we possibly can before we return home.