Youngsters to have a ball

SELECTED South African amateur soccer players will get a ringside seat at the 2010 Fifa World Cup after Powerade ran a campaign to recruit ball crew members.

SELECTED South African amateur soccer players will get a ringside seat at the 2010 Fifa World Cup after Powerade ran a campaign to recruit ball crew members.

In the past, only young boys were recruited by clubs and soccer associations for friendly and official matches across the country. They were commonly known as "ball boys" but the name was changed after the recruitment of girls.

The responsibility of the lucky 448 ball crew members during the World Cup will be to hand the ball back to the players on the field.

Ismail Nanabhay, the company's brand manager, said boys and girls between the ages of 14 and 17 were recruited from 31 amateur clubs in the nine World Cup host cities.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of the World Cup, which is undoubtedly the biggest sporting event on earth," Nanabhay said.

"The ball crew members will be trained by Coca-Cola's internal team to serve at each of the 10 World Cup match venues.

"In each match, we will have 14 boys and girls serving as ball crew."

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