The football vs HIV/AIDS tour is an initiative that strives for the greater good as far as HIV/AIDS in sports is concerned. A few years back in the summer of the year 2012, PFA (Professional Footballers Association) spearheaded one such tour to South Africa to spread the word further into the hearts of the local youth. The Professional Footballers Association, was accompanied by representatives from the Premier League, and met up with the local youth from Masiphumelele.
Among the gear that were making rounds to mark the event were HIVsport designed T-shirts. The general design of the T-shirts were inspired from football pitch markings on the front side of the shirts. HIVsport’s 'Badge for Hope' was also embedded on the front side alongside the general design. This shows just how much HIVsport holds in much esteem, those football vs HIV/AIDS tours. They are important in provoking a response towards the issue of HIV/AIDS, which also greatly affects the sport as a whole.
The badge for hope is a symbol of awareness of HIV/AIDS. Again, this goes to show just how important the matter is, and how the sport can be used to propagate the agenda at hand, beyond the normal issues surrounding the sport. Locally, in such places as Masiphumelele, the sport isn’t well established due to a lack of appropriate facilities and proper football gear, like soccer cleats for kids. Instead, the youth who have a profound passion for football have to indulge themselves in the game using substandard equipment.
However, as the change in the right direction occurs in the game itself, HIVsport is quickly chipping in to impact the sport and the game at another level, to bring a sense of awareness on the issue of HIV/AIDS on a more in-depth scale. This is mostly because, football as a game is quite popular worldwide, even in the underdeveloped parts of the world, like Masiphumelele. Using that to their advantage, HIVsport can carry out its operations and issue profound support on the various projects revolving around HIV/AIDS.
As a group, HIVsport works in tandem with other higher sporting associations, like the Professional Football Association, to carry out various activities. One of the activities involves the creation of the aforementioned public awareness of HIV/AIDS as a global epidemic that it is. HIV/AIDS has caused a lot of grief over the years, and continuous propagation of awareness in every channel possible is in itself quite necessary. The second most important activity it carries out is the active education of every person who has a title or role in the sport regarding all things HIV, including sexual health.
There is no need to stress the importance of HIV education and sexual health. HIV/AIDS is itself rooted in sexual activities and overall sexual health. It is, therefore, quite important to push the educational boundaries regarding the issue as much as possible. Lastly, HIVsport actively supports and involves itself in sports-related projects, which further offer education regarding HIV and sexual health. HIVsport’s cause is revolutionary and immensely important, especially in football.
The need to shake the beliefs and views of stereotypes and the general outlook of things in such matters is crucial, and HIVsport is doing its part to do just that. The Paralympics themselves strive to push such boundaries and prove that, even the disabled are resourceful, determined, spirited and courageous.