June 16th was a big day for the Port Elizabeth team, after weeks of planning and promotion the it was show time for the INSPI(RED) tournament. We managed to get our minimum goal of 16 teams to participate in the site’s first fund raising tournament. Each team was required to pay R1,000 ($147) for a team of 10 players. The tournament brought together companies from various industries plus some local community teams. All funds raised from the tournament will go to Grassroot Soccer HCT soccer tournaments in the local townships where we do most of our work.
The teams were divided into 4 groups of 4, with the top two making it to the quarter finals and the winners of that round contesting the semi-finals and finally the winners of the semis fighting for top honors in the final. We had some fantastic prizes from Nike, Waltons and FIFA. These proved to be a great incentive to attracting teams and making the tournament worthwhile. The competition was fierce but fair, and teams got a glimpse of the work GRS does by participating in one of our Skillz Activities: “Find The Ball.” In fact each team was paired up with one of our coaches – as a way for them to get a sense of how great our coaches are, and for them to ask any questions they might have concerning GRS.
Lizzy Karoly, a fellow tournament put the tournament together and it was a pleasure to be part of planning and organizing the tournament, particularly considering the fact that this was going to be my last act as a GRS intern. The pictures below will do much better job of capturing the mood on the day than any words I can put down.