By Cindy Ryan
When asked to write about a personal interest, my thoughts immediately shift towards my passion of the wonderful game of football.
Football – noun- pronounced foo t-bawl, commonly known as soccer; defined as a game in which two opposing teams of eleven players each defend goals at opposite ends of a field having goal posts at each end, with points being scored chiefly by kicking the ball into the opponent’s goal posts.
Fan-noun; defined as an enthusiastic devotee or admirer of a sport.
The Ajax Cape Town fans are an unofficial fan club of Ajax Cape Town, where we all have one common passion…football. It’s not just a passion, it’s an emotion, it’s not just a game, it’s a life, it’s not just a stadium, it’s a home, it’s not just a kit, it’s a skin, it’s not just a starting eleven, it’s a million, it’s not just a crowd, it’s a family….it’s the Ajax Cape Town family.
My experience started on one spring night at the well-known Newlands Stadium- Ajax Cape Town verse Bidvest Wits. The Urban Warriors verse the Clever Boys, red and white verse blue and white. A stand filled with friends, family and strangers at unity. The explosive sounds of the vuvuzelas, the sounds of the beating drums and waving flags of red and white in all sizes. The enthusiastic fans, discussing score predictions, camera flashes from all angles capturing the moment and the harmonizing chants; “let’s go Ajax, let’s go” at the top of our lungs. It is here where you will find us football loving Capetonians, block 116 of Cape Town Stadium, our home game ground, a beautiful image of what fans should be.
We eagerly wait for the whistle to be blown for kick-off. Our army, our boys, our men, our soldiers, our warriors, representing! A full 90 minutes consisting of saves, goals, penalties, tackles, dribbles, free kicks, passes, injuries, fouls, yellow cards, red cards, hand balls, play makers, corner kicks, headers, goal celebrations, referee disagreements, players disagreements, bad decision making, good decision making, etc. The score that stands after the final whistle is blown, determines our deep felt emotion- cries or laughter, happiness or sadness, disappointment or delight, hugs of comfort or hugs of celebration. What makes a winning team is working together as a team, stepping onto the field with the correct attitude, consistency and aiming for the same goal.
Players need their supporters behind them 110%, we come out in numbers, the bigger the number of supporters, the bigger the boost. Being on the stands surrounded by the Ajax Cape Town family just adds to the live experience. Live football allows us as supporters to feel football in a way that television does not. I attend most home games played over the weekends and try my best to attend games played on week days. Be it iKamva, Cape Town Stadium, Athlone Stadium, Newlands Stadium or Phillipi Stadium and the occasional away trips, you are sure to find some if not all of us presenting Ajax Cape Town in the stands.
By being a spectator on the stands you become the twelfth man. However, when I cannot attend the home games, I’m glued to the television set if the game is broadcasted.
Beyond the stands the Ajax Cape Town fans created and are maintaining a strong sense of community through social network interaction via Blackberry messenger and whatsapp chat groups which chats goes beyond football. It is here with the AjaxCTfans that you will find a family away from home. Football, it’s not a sport, it’s a culture.