Understandably, Bjorn is feeling exhausted by his exertions of the past 13 months. I also feel pretty done in - both mentally and physically - by my much smaller contribution to 'The Shirt 2010' project.
It is hard to say, therefore, at this point in time, where exactly the project will go from here in the coming months. I very much hope there will still be an exhibition, book and 'The Shirt 2014', but it is impossible to say just now.
My advice would be to check this blog (let's say) once per month for any updates, and to continue logging on to www.theshirt2010.net every now and then to hear Bjorn's news and updates. I guess new previously unpublished photos will be added to both www.theshirt2010.net and www.justinworldcup.weebly.com on a regular basis in the coming weeks.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank every single one of you who has followed this project and supported us in any shape or form. The messages of support and encouragement were always greatly appreciated whilst on the road in Africa. I am sorry that it was often impossible to reply to you personally at that time.
I hope this project has encouraged us all to think more about the world's refugees. I hope each and every one of us will continue to think of the refugees in the future and, on occasion, offer our personal support to them wherever in the world they may be.
Thank you to you all!!
All the best,
Friday, June 18
Fat Boy Slim is signing the shirt at 1pm today. We are hopeful that plenty of press people from the UK and South Africa will be there to snap photos so that you can all see the shirt in the British and South African papers tomorrow. Please let us know where and when you spot the shirt.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
In previous posts I mentioned that the Estonian FA have kindly donated a shirt while the English and Australian federations have declined our request. I have continued to contact officials in the English FA but only one individual from the many I have spoken to has so far expressed a 'positive' attitude to this project.
Personally, I think the English FA looks rather ridiculous when you compare their response to that of the Estonians. Here is the follow up letter I received from Tallinn today:
"The shirt will be send out tomorrow via a courrier as I understand so it definitely will make its way to South Africa in time. May I just say once again what a wonderful project you are being involved with and we are really proud to be part of this!
The shirt has „only“ 8 signatures as yesterday we had a match between our summer camp kids (one week summer camps are held in Estonia in June and August respectively with 500 kids each and one day is an excursion to Tallinn) and an Estonian XI, where there were also 8 national team members in the team. Unbelievable scenes, fantastic event, you can see the pictures here:
and a video here:
In 2 weeks time there is the Baltic Cup where I could have got more signatures, but I wanted to make sure that the shirt will reach you in time, so I play it safe and already send it now, even if it „just“ has 8 signatures. I hope this is OK."
Thank you Estonia. The English FA - please take note of this!
The Estonians are making you look like idiots.
Wednesday, June 9
The latest stats for this blog reveal that the site now has a decent following in South Africa.
The top 10 countries following www.justinworldcup.weebly.com over the last 7 days are...
1. United Kingdom 2. South Africa 3. Latvia 4. Lithuania 5. Switzerland 6. Kenya 7. United States 8. Zambia 9. Australia 10. Denmark
Please encourage your friends and work mates to follow my blogs over the coming weeks as well as those of Bjorn at www.theshirt2010.net
Monday, June 7
England became the first national team at the World Cup finals to comfirm that they will definitely NOT be donating a shirt to this project.
I guess an England fan cycling and hitch-hiking 6500 kilometres across Africa is expecting a bit too much asking for a signed shirt.
The answer from the English FA was rather predictable and sounded remarkably like a cut and paste job:
"As you can imagine we receive a significant volume of requests of this nature and it is not possible to please everyone.
As such The FA has a charity policy which we re-evaluate every year, and these are our chosen partners that we seek to assist as much as possible."
Special thanks today goes out to Gavin McKernan in Dublin, Ireland. Gavin got in contact yesterday and told us that he would like to donate 4 or 5 international shirts to the project.
This is a fantastic gesture, particularly when you consider that the majority of the national teams we have contacted are still ignoring our emails and phone calls.
Gavin McKernan 5 England 0
If you would like to send us your shirt, please post it to:
Premier Soccer League
PO BOX 15740
Wednesday, June 2
Yesterday was the best day to date for the number of people visiting this site.
Thank you to everybody following the progress of this project. Please continue to check my blogs whenever you can as the more people following us, the more attention the site and the project gets from the media.
The largest number of followers is in the UK. Here is the latest top 10 by city or town in England:
9. Herne Bay
Please encourage your friends to log on to this website and of course:
Sunday, May 30, 2010
On the advice of one of my friends, Kelvin Hooke, I have introduced a new section to this website today.
It is called 'The scores so far'.
The purpose of this section is to log the progress of this project. Recent TV coverage on CNN and on Brazil's and South Africa's leading TV channels has boosted the 'media footprint' of this project.
Global audience aware of 'the shirt 2010':
280 million *
30,000 (Bjorn) 6,500 (Justin) *
'World Cup 32' (number of WC squads donating a shirt) :
2 (South Africa, Serbia)
Number of people visited in African refugee camps during Bjorns and Justin's journey:
Number of days hitchbiking:
335 (Bjorn) 42 (Justin)
Number of photos taken by Bjorn and Justin:
Number of hours blogging on the road:
Countries where this website is being followed:
Number of countries hitchbiked through:
35 (Bjorn) 6 (Justin)
The current weight of 'the shirt' :
Average number of daily 'viewers' following this
project through our websites, facebook pages and
other social networking mediums including twitter :
3,000 - 5,000
Number of hits on www.thshirt2010.net :
If you would like to donate a shirt to the project then you can send it to us directly in South Africa. The new address is:
Premier Soccer League
PO Box 15740
Alternatively, if you are travelling out to the World Cup or live in South Africa, then you can donate your shirt in person.
Details of where the shirt will be in the coming weeks will appear on this website and on www.theshirt2010.net
Sunday, April 25, 2010
The girls from Star Sports Television might not follow the most orthodox style of journalism but, none the less, they really came up with the goods after the interview they made with Bjorn and I featured on their pan-African sports channel. Viewers in Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo now know about ‘The Shirt 2010’ project and our efforts to spread awareness about the world’s millions of refugees. It goes without saying that when you walk down a Tanzanian street and a random passer by tells you “I saw you on the television,” you feel the project is going in the right direction.
One thing I have quickly learned in Kenya and Tanzania is the concept of ‘Africa time’. If somebody tells you they will meet you at 1pm, chances are they will actually turn up at 7pm…or not at all. The prize, however, for the best Africa Time example to date must go to the African Confederations Cup match we attended on Sunday between Simba (Dar es Salaam) and Haras El Hadoud (Egypt). The high profile match was held at the Tanzanian New National Stadium (capacity 65,000) in front of more than 20,000 spectators. OK, so the Kick Off time was supposed to be 4pm; millions awaited live TV coverage in Egypt and Tanzania. But following the rules of Africa Time none of us should have been surprised that the match kicked off 33 minutes late. The reason? There wasn’t one!
The strangest feature of this entertaining match was the decision by more than two thousand rival Tanzanian football fans to turn up and support the Egyptian team, rather than Tanzanian champions Simba. Apparently, rivalries cut so deep in Tanzania that rival fans actually pay good money to turn up and support foreign opponents. It’s the equivalent of 2,000 Everton fans turning up at Anfield to support Benfica if they were playing against Liverpool!
For the record, Simba won Sunday’s match 2-1.