Football Headlines

BUNDESLIGA INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS WITH SAFE-HUB TO DELIVER YOUTH FOOTBALL SERIES IN SOUTH AFRICA

Florian Zech (Founder SAFE HUB/Amandla) with Henning Brinkman (Bundesliga) and Jay-Jay Okocha during the 2023 Bundesliga Media Event at the Solo Restaurant, Sandton on the 07 December 2023 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix
  • The “Bundesliga x Safe-Hub Series” will see football tournaments held over a four-month period, culminating in the “Bundesliga x Safe-Hub Series Finals”
  • Kick-off event on Saturday, featuring Bundesliga Legend Jay-Jay Okocha and former South African and Bundesliga player Sibusiso Zuma
  • Aim of the Safe-Hubs is to give young people a safe space to access holistic support and opportunitiesto realise their full potential
  • Football project supported by Bundesliga broadcasters StarTimes/Sat and SABC

Bundesliga International has partnered with Safe-Hub in South Africa to launch the “Bundesliga x Safe Hub Series”, a 4-month fair playtournament series, with the aim of creatinga safe space for children and young adults to play football and engage with educational and sporting programmes.

Safe-Hub creates places where local partners collaborate so that young people and communities can thrive. The aim is to realise a vision for an equal world by improving access to support and opportunity in under-resourced neighbourhoods.

Jay-Jay Okocha during the 2023 Bundesliga Media Event at the Solo Restaurant, Sandton on the 07 December 2023 ©Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

The partnership was unveiled at a press conference on Thursday evening, ahead of the Bundesliga’s 60th anniversary celebrations in Johannesburg. Henning Brinkmann, Bundesliga International Head of AVR for Africa, Europe and the Middle East, was joined by Florian Zech, founder of AMANDLA Social Enterprisesand Safe-Hub to announce the initiative. Andreas Peschke, German Ambassador to South Africa, was also in attendance.

Over the second half of the 2023-24 Bundesliga season, the Bundesliga International and Safe-Hubwill host weekend qualification tournaments, with children of all ages teaming up to qualify for the “Bundesliga x Safe-Hub Series Finals”,scheduled for May, 2024.

To celebrate the project’s launch, the TotalsportsSafe-Hub in Alexandra, Johannesburg,will host a kick-off event on Saturday 9 December, attended by Bundesliga Legend Jay-Jay Okocha, as well as Sibusiso Zuma, former South African national team and Arminia Bielefeld striker. The former greats will be joined by football influencers and content creators, Thulani Hlatshwayo and Andile Dlamini, in a celebration of German and South African cultures, with children from the local community taking to the field for a Bundesliga five-a-side tournament, as well aslocal artists and DJs performingthroughout the day. At the end of the tournament, football fans are invited to stay and watch Okocha’s former club, Eintracht Frankfurt, take on reigning Bundesliga champions FC Bayern München as part of the Bundesliga’s “Super Matchday” weekend.

Bundesliga International’s South African media partnersStarTimes/Sat and SABC were also present at the event, with SABC broadcastingEintracht’s match with Bayern directly from the Safe-Hub. Both broadcasterswill continue to support the project over the course of next year, ensuring widespread national coverage of the activation and of the vital service the Safe-Hubs provide.

Bundesliga International Chief Marketing Officer Peer Naubert said: “The Bundesliga has long been a league at the heart of the community; that begins in Germany, where clubs are a focal point of their towns and cities. But it extends much further than that, and we are committed to ensuring that football plays a positive impact in the lives of young people at all levels.

“Our mantra – Football As Its Meant To Be – stands for long-term, sustainable development, from grassroots initiatives to the next generation of international players and Bundesliga stars, and it is a privilege to partner with Safe-Hub for this tournament series, and to play a small part in the life-changing work they are doing in South Africa.”

Bundesliga Legend Jay-Jay Okocha said: “In Africa, football means everything. Wherever you go, you see children playing, it is how I fell in love with the sport. I believe this project will be a great opportunity for young kids to enjoy football in a safe space, and will have a huge benefit, not only for them but for the community as a whole.”

CEO of AMANDLA and Safe-Hub, Florian Zech said:”This initiative is not just about football; it’s about harnessing the power of sport to inspire young people to become change makers in their community. Our Safe-Hubs have always been more than just a place to play – they are drivers of holistic youth and community development. We are excited to collaborate with Bundesliga International to create an environment where the spirit of youth is celebrated through the universal language of football.”

Follow all the latest Bundesliga action on Bundesliga.com and via the official Facebook, TikTok and Instagram channels.

DID YOU KNOW?

Bundesliga International is a full subsidiary of the DFL Deutsche Fußball Liga and responsible for connecting and inspiring football fans around the globe. Its main focus is to drive internationalisation by igniting passion for the Bundesliga with contagious content. Bundesliga International is marketing the audiovisual, sponsorship (partnership) rights, brand and digital licenses through a global network of 80 partners.

About the Bundesliga

The Bundesliga is the premier professional association football league in Germany and the football league with the highest average stadium attendance worldwide. The league was established in 1963 and comprises 18 teams which operate on a system of promotion and relegation with the Bundesliga 2.

About Safe-Hub

Safe-Hub is creating a more equal world by improving young people’s access to opportunity and services in structurally-disadvantaged areas. At each hub, a collaborative ecosystem of local partners and experts provides users support in education, health, recreation, employability and entrepreneurship. A holistic platform for youth and community development, Safe-Hub is a microcosm of the world we envision — one where all young people can access equal opportunities, strive to realise their potential, and dare to dream. For more than a decade, the Safe-Hub model has proven its impact in South Africa with now 14 operating locations. The model is now expanding to sites in Berlin, Philadelphia, Abidjan and Delhi. The award-winning Safe-Hub model was developed by AMANDLA Social Enterprises.

INFO SUPPLIED.

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