JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 23: The Ghana team walk out on to the pitch prior to the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Group D match between Ghana and Germany at Soccer City Stadium on June 23, 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
While watching World Cup matches you may have noticed children escort the soccer players onto the pitch at the beginning of each game. The kids are between the ages of 6 and 10, come from around the world and are part of a program sponsored by McDonalds.
In total, 1,408 children were picked to escort their heroes during the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Specifically,the kids are from the 32 countries who are participating in the World Cup. After the initial escort, many of the kids then join their families and watch the soccer match.
One of the children, Lelentle Mosimane from Johannesburg, escorted Landon Donovan during the Confederations Cup and tells FIFA.com, “We waited in the tunnel for the players to come out of their dressing rooms. They then came out and the USA captain came to me, said hello, and then grabbed my hand just before we went onto the field. I felt nervous because I didn’t want to make a mistake in front of all those people, but it was a very nice experience,” said Lelentle.
The McDonalds program started in 2002 and the kids are selected through competitions and contests.