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ON Magnificent Fridays it is time to go all out to show your support for our national sports teams, Joburgers are told.
IT’S again time to fly the flag, sing the national anthem and wear the national colours every Friday, this time in support of Magnificent Fridays.


Sports minister Paul Mashatile and Fikile MbalulaMinisters Paul Mashatile and Fikile Mbalula rally up people to support Magnificent FridaysMagnificent Fridays, a government campaign, encourages South Africans to rally behind the national sporting teams, three of which will participate in world cup tournaments this year.

There will be South African teams in the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup in India, from 19 February; the 2011 World Netball Championships in Singapore, from 3 July; and the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand, starting on 9 September. The Boks, as the South African rugby team are affectionately known, are the defending champions.

At the last Rugby World Cup, held in France in 2007, some 48 matches were played. The final game was played between South Africa and England, with the Boks the only team to enter the final undefeated. It also won the tournament in 1995.

Other activities on Magnificent Fridays will include teaching people about the national symbols, singing the national anthem, distributing national flags and conducting sports clinics.

On Friday, 28 January, the City’s member of the mayoral committee for community development, Bafana Sithole; Minister of Sport Fikile Mbalula; Minister of Arts and Culture Paul Mashatile; and the Gauteng MEC for sports, arts, culture and recreation, Lebohang Maile, visited Park Station to give momentum to the campaign.


MMC Bafana Sithole at the launchThe City supports Magnificent Fridays, says MMC Bafana SitholeThey were joined by schoolchildren, community policing forum members and workers from around the station. Turning up to lend their support to the campaign and the national teams were musicians Arthur Mafokate, Chomee, Ringo, Selaelo Selota and Zulu Boy. Traditional dancers and bikers also came to show their patriotism. Funnyman David Kau was the programme director.

“Today we are not launching [the campaign], but we are marching on because sports Fridays are about being active,” Mbalula said. “Magnificent Fridays are about celebrating being South African and wearing our national jerseys to wish our teams success in the world cups.”

Through the campaign, the Ministry of Sports was also looking into reviving sports in schools, because, “we want our children to leave drugs and alcohol and be active in sports”. Mbalula said his department would not rest until it saw sports back in places of learning. The ultimate goal of the ministry was to see world-class athletes coming out of South Africa.

His words were echoed by Sithole, who said: “If sports go back to our schools, we will be able to rid our schools of a lot of things.”

The City supported the initiative fully and was urging its residents to continue with the spirit that they had during the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, he added.

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