Co-Founder Ethan Zohn Launches #IamaFootballer Campaign in South Africa

On 16 October, visionary Grassroot Soccer co-founder Ethan Zohn embarked on a two-week public tour around South Africa, beginning in Cape Town.

Former American professional soccer player, and winner of CBS’s Survivor: Africa, Ethan joined Kirk Friedrich, Methembe Ndlovu and Tommy Clark 12 years ago to bring the GRS vision to life, of “a world mobilized through soccer to create an AIDS-free generation”.

While in South Africa, Ethan appeared on a number of Cape Town and Johannesburg media outlets to promote Grassroot Soccer and the new #IamaFootballer campaign. GRS made the most of his visit and secured a number of print, online, radio and television interviews.

Publications included the Daily Voice, Sunday Times, Weekend Argus, Die Son, and Channel 24, as well as radio appearances on 2Oceans Vibe Radio, Cliff Central, Chai FM, Metro FM, KFM, Smile FM 2000 FM and 5FM. Ethan’s TV appearances included Expresso TV, eNCA, Hectic Nine-9 and Tongue in Cheek, and his interview with Man Cave will be screened on 27 November on SABC3, at 7:30pm GMT+2. Special thanks to all of the media houses who support the Grassroot Soccer cause!

In addition to the media blitz, Ethan spoke at the Beyond Sport Summit in Johannesburg from 28-30 October. Beyond Sport “brings together the best sport-led social innovators with influential, global leaders to address the role of sports in driving positive social change.” You can read more about Grassroot Soccer’s presence at Beyond Sport here.

Picture of just some of Ethan’s interviews:

expresso interviewManCave showEthan Metro FM interviewEthan eNCA interview


Grassroot Soccer Partners with 2014 Beyond Sport Summit

Grassroot Soccer (GRS) has been deeply engaged this week in the 2014 Beyond Sport Summit, taking place in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Summit brings together the most influential and pioneering leaders from the world of sport, business and community development to explore the potential of young people and future leaders in driving social impact and becoming positive change makers. GRS is partnering with Beyond Sport to inspire attendees through programs, activity sessions, panel discussions, and more.

Beyond Sport onsite discussion

Beyond Sport delegates participate in small group discussions, led by GRS staff and coaches in Alexandra, around addressing problems facing youth.

Here’s an outline of Grassroot Soccer’s roles in the Summit:

Experts in Health Education:

  • James Donald, GRS South Africa Managing Director, moderated the Beyond Health panel hosted by Nestlé.
  • Ethan Zohn, GRS Co-founder, contributed to (1) an Expert Talk Panel on youth inspiring innovation, leadership and sustainable impact and (2) a health session on global health issues and the role of sport in addressing them.
  • Sikhumbuzo Mnculwane, GRS Site Coordinator, facilitated a roundtable workshop on developing partnerships for HIV testing and treatment.
Beyond Health panel

GRS South Africa Managing Director James Donald (in green) and GRS Co-founder Ethan Zohn (in black) take part in the Beyond Health panel.

Leaders in Program Development and Implementation:

  • GRS hosted an open site visit at the Alexandra Football for Hope Centre for Beyond Sport delegates to learn about and experience Grassroot Soccer’s innovative programming.
  • GRS led an interactive on-pitch session showcasing a Barclays-funded program building employability skills in young community members.
GRS Coach Development video at Beyond Sport Summit

A video highlighting the GRS Coach Development program, supported by Barclays and Absa, is presented at the Summit.

Drivers of Social Impact through Youth:

  • GRS Coaches represent 3 of the 8 Youth Ambassadors for the summit. They are: Bongani Sibaya, Sphesihle Buthulezi, and Bongani Sibisi.
  • Over 50 GRS Coaches and team members participated in the Beyond Sport Summit.
Ethan Zohn and GRS Young Ambassadors

GRS Co-founder Ethan Zohn and GRS Beyond Sport Young Ambassadors


About Beyond Sport

Beyond Sport is a global organisation that promotes, develops and funds the use of sport to create positive social change across the world. Visit for more information.


Malaria Awareness and Testing Event a Big Success in Tanzania

One of Grassroot Soccer’s most successful partnerships to date has been with Iringa Development of Youth, Disabled and Children Care (IDYDC) in the Iringa district of Tanzania. GRS and IDYDC continue to deliver critical HIV and malaria prevention messaging to Tanzanian youth through the ZINDUKA kupitia SOKA project. A Peace Corps extension volunteer was placed with IDYDC in late 2012 to support daily program execution and monitoring and evaluation efforts of the ZINDUKA program. GRS continues to provide IDYDC with technical support.

IDYDC Malaria tournamentOn October 25th, IDYDC hosted a Malaria Community Event at the FIFA Football for Hope Center in Iringa, Tanzania. The event featured a soccer tournament, which included 8 teams of 8 players each (64 youth aged 10-16). These 64 youth took part in 2 malaria focused ZINDUKA activities (Bed Net Ball & Malaria Facts/Nonsense). A total of 253 people were tested for malaria, (the most we have tested at an event to date!!!!), of which, 176 were under the age of 15. IDYDC estimates that 400 people of all ages from Iringa attended the event. The event was an undeniable success and had a huge impact in Iringa.

Check out a few more pics from the event below.

IDYDC Malaria tournament

IDYDC Malaria tournament

IDYDC malaria event


Post submitted by Logan Loya.