The Social Soccer Challenge is a self explanatory event that takes place in Benoni once a month. It aims to unite young Ben citizens in a productive and active way, while incorporating it with the social element that we all enjoy. The soccer games are played by teams of six a side and they play for about 20 minutes. The most recent one that took place was the first one for this summer because really, we can’t be sitting chilling at the park in winter. Some greatly appreciated improvements were made on the set up of the social during the winter, such the mobile toilet! Gosh there’s nothing worse than not knowing where to pee after a few cups of something.. And also adding centralised music to the event because before, anyone and everyone would be playing music from their car, and that just takes away from the element of unity.
Although there has been continuous growth and support for the event, there is hardly ever any feedback given by the public. The “yay’s and nay’s” of the social, and the little things that would make this gathering all the more special and enjoyable for everyone
The first and most prominent issue is the effective integration of the soccer that is being played to the social festivities that are taking place. The main problem here is that when there is a game being played, the social birds and butterflies have no idea, unless they are socialising around the pitch. Also, the players get caught up socialising and delay the progress of the games. Another thing that needs to be addressed is girls; it’s not a party without them. Girls do come to the event but there are no seats for them to sit and watch the soccer, so they end up socialising around cars where they can lean or sit down. Yes there are girls that enjoy watching and even playing soccer, but not all of them, and surely not all the time? Perhaps if it was set up as a picnic type vibe, with the opportunity to swag out and dress up, it could be appealing to the girl that’s not really into soccer
But anyway, here’s what I was thinking: first, let the teams pay to play. That way, there can be a reward at the end of the challenge and all the players will be focused on the games. It could even attract more teams to register. The inception of a girls’ league would effectively attract more girls to the event (if they’re playing for money, you know girls love money). This will generate some sort of a revenue that will assist in paying for the mobile toilet, the generator for the music and possibly even seating arrangements for the supporters. The supporters could pay an admission fee to fund seating but, how are you gonna make us pay to be at a park?
Another thing that can be done to unify the social to the soccer is if the games are commentated. If it is possible to have the games commentated while there is music playing it would really draw the supporters to the soccer. See whether they like it or not, there will be that little element that tunes them into the game. The only problem with this is finding a commentator that is committed, reliable and most importantly entertaining.
I saw a food stand and people selling loose cigarettes this time around, which means that some people are seeing the SS challenge as a way to grow their businesses and gain exposure to a different market. I spoke to a few people at the event and some said that they enjoyed the event but they wouldn’t come every month because they know that they could always come the following month. However I believe that with the implication of the above suggested solutions, people will have a reason to come every month and continue to support the initiative