The Youth Charter was born in 1993 in response to the tragic loss of 14 year old school
boy Benji Stanley, who was shot dead on the streets of Moss Side, Manchester and has
since attempted to provide alternative social and cultural activity benefits through sport,
arts and lifestyle choices. What is not known is how closely the respective fortunes of
young people in two separate continents, in two cities as remote in distance as
Moss Side and Soweto would, through their similar social and cultural barriers be
“provided with an opportunity through tragedy to develop in life through sport”.
As cities of sporting and musical power, their respective love of Soccer is also evident
with both cities the home of leading Premiership Clubs in Manchester City and United and
The Orlando Pirates and Keiser Chiefs in Johannesburg. Both Manchester and
Johannesburg aimed to regenerate their respective cities through the Olympic and
Commonwealth Bidding and hosting of Major Games.
The Youth Charter’s birth seemed almost inevitable, as the issue of youth exclusion and
social and cultural deprivation provided as many challenges as they did opportunities.
With social unrest and riots also identified within ‘the tale of two cities’, the cultural
divides have always explored the role of sports recreational and leisure potential to foster
greater social and cultural cohesion between people of different race, culture, religion