Content Supplied and written by James Sleigh – September 2021
Today marks to start of the 16th Summer Paralympic Games in Tokyo! The #WeThe15 campaign, is being used, to promote this, and in the process, promote the message that disability, only exists in the eyes and minds of those who judge and exclude.
A very moving international advertisement has been made for the #WeThe15 campaign, and Camphill Village West Coast, South Africa, is really proud that our football team, has been chosen to be part of this international advertisement.
In September 2021, our Camphill Village football team was approached by a scouting company to be part of the advertisement. We held a Zoom meeting with all of the football team, and the director in the UK. Each player introduced themselves to him, and he briefed us on the message that they want to get out to the world.
This message seemed so relevant to each member of our football team, and to the team as a whole. It felt like a celebration of the five years of training and work that our team has built upon. Five years ago Max and I started this team, both driven by a passion we share for football. Max has consistently worked with each player, helping them overcome challenges, building their fitness and skills, and equally importantly, getting each player to understand what it means to be part of a team.
We have witnessed each player develop as a player, and also as a person. The skills learnt on the field have been incorporated in their social and daily lives
As a team, we have had many highlights over the years: we have played matches, won trophies, and equally lost matches. We have had outings, watched football matches in the stadiums, trained through the heat of summer and through the cold winter rains. One highlight was playing side by side with professional players from Cape Town City (one of South Africa’s premier league teams) in a friendly game. This involvement in the advertisement has been another.
It feels wonderful to be part of this message – something we have been trying to demonstrate for years – now being beamed around the world.