“Reaching for the stars!” (Daily Sun, 12/11/2010, p.42) receives a GLAD from Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) for portraying a child in a positive light and affording him the opportunity to express himself.

The child – a goalkeeper at his school – reportedly won three medals “within a year of being selected for his school’s senior side.” A picture of him wearing his medals with a smile on his face was published alongside the article.

Portraying children and their achievements in a positive light in the media should be commended as it gives them a sense of pride when they see themselves and encourages and empowers other children to perform at their best, and fulfil their potential.

The 10-year-old boy reportedly looks up to international football club Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech and aspires to be like him one day. “I enjoy watching my teammates playing soccer with other schools and I watch international teams because they motivate me,” he was quoted as saying.

Daily Sun should further be commended for accessing the child and allowing him to talk about his dreams as this in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) which states that every child has the right to express his/her opinion and to have that opinion taken into account in any matter affecting the child. It also shows that this child is an individual with views and opinions worth listening to.

We congratulate Daily Sun for shining light on South Africa’s aspiring young footballers and for motivating other children to reach for the stars. We look forward to similar reporting in the future.