A popular tourism website makes the bold statement that sport is "the national religion" of South Africa.1 In many ways this seems evident as sport so heavily dominates and influences South African culture. And South Africans are famous for it - wherever they go in the rugby/cricket/soccer world, sport is an immediate conversation-starter.
Now with the 2010 FIFA World CupTM starting in just a few weeks sports-fanaticism is going into overdrive. Many millions will be tuned into radio stations listening for the latest updates and sporting news. What a wonderful opportunity this presents to redirect sport-worshipping listeners to the only true and worthy object of worship, Jesus Christ.
That is why 2K Plus International Sports Media (2K Plus) has teamed up with TWR. 2K Plus is a Christian sports media agency and the goal of the partnership is "to promote a relevant, alternative, Christ-centred lifestyle to sports fans around the world"2 TWR is providing them with office space and a studio to produce material that will engage listeners with events happening on and off the pitch from June onwards.3 This material will be broadcast on TWR Radio 155 on DStv's Audio Bouquet.
The team that will be at TWR studios will include Steve Vickers (former BBC World Service Fast Track sports producer), Solomon Ashoms (who covered the 2006 World Cup in Germany) and Adrian Barnard (chief editor, 2K Plus). Adrian says, "We have interviewed sport players whose deep motivation is to glorify God, not to win a medal."3 The goal is to connect players like these with listeners so that they can catch glimpses of God's Kingdom in the midst of the sporting hype.
Some of the exciting resources that are available from 2K Plus include:2
- Spirit of Football - Series of 20 three-minute programmes exploring various issues in football, e.g. commitment, celebration and community. Available from 1 March.
- 2010 Football Shorts - Series of 11 one-minute testimonies of top footballers, including Kaka and Lucio (Brazil) and Marcios Senna (Spain). Available from 1 April.
- Testimonies - Top footballers, past and present, talk about their sport and faith in Christ. Available from 1 May.
- Up For The Corner - Daily 30-minute programme featuring news, interviews, match analysis and more from The Ultimate Goal Christian service and outreach events. Available from 9 June to 12 July.
- I Was There - Personal reaction from football supporters at the game, after every match. Available from 11 June.
- Round Table - Twice-weekly discussions on World Cup issues with a panel of football experts. Available 14 June.
- Planet Sport - Weekly 15-minute programme featuring news, comment and analysis from the world of Sport with a Christian perspective. Currently available.
- So, as millions of eyes focus on the biggest sporting event in the world, this partnership will seek to redirect their gaze upward to the glory of God.
2. 2K Plus International Sports Media press release
3. Personal Interview with Adrian Barnard (chief editor, 2K Plus International Sports Media)
Published: 26 March 2010
[Children playing soccer]
Children playing soccer on a beach in South Africa. Excitement mounts as this country gets ready to host the 2010 Fifa World Cup.