By FOCUS REPORTER
THE world’s biggest football tournament for children between 10 and 12 years old, the Danone Nations Cup, kicks-off this weekend in South Africa.
With over 3 000 primary schools taking to the field in a bid to become the school that will represent South Africa in the World Finals which take place in
Spain this year from 5 to 10 October 2011.
Over the next seven months the schools will go through gruelling qualifiers starting from the Cluster level with the winners progressing through to the
Regional finals and the 9 Provincial winners will go on to play in the National Finals happening in Gauteng on 11 June, the anniversary date of the
kick-off of the 2010 FIFA World Cup!
This year the youngsters will be watched over by the newly announced Danone Nations Cup ambassador, Kamohelo Mokotjo, who has played in the Danone
Nations Cup, which was in 2003.
Not only did South Africa win the tournament that year, but Mokotjo captained the team, got to meet the World ambassador Zinedine Zidane and was spotted by SuperSport United scouts and joined their development programme which helped him get to where he is now – playing for
Feyenoord Rotterdam FC (Holland). South Africa is now the only country to have won the Danone Nations Cup world finals three times in its 11 year
history (2003, 2007 and 2009). Kamogelo will support all the kids of South Africa who will play the DNC, and he will be at the National Final in
Gauteng to award the winning team.
This Saturday, March 19, the tournament will kick-off in Limpopo when the regional playoffs begin. Last year’s provincial champions, Dorothy Langa
Primary School from Polokwane are in the running again with renewed enthusiasm and will be playing in the Capricorn regionals at Seshego
Industrial Stadium in Polokwane.
Other regions that will also be playing are Waterberg region at Mookgopong Stadium in Mookgopong, Sekhukhune region at Mokgakala Stadium in Jane Furse, Mopani region at Nkowa Nkowa stadium in Nkowa Nkowa and Vhembe region who will state their caution at Malamulele Stadium.
“But the tournament is not just about football,” explains Sandra Dorville, Communication Manager, Danone Southern Africa. “Groupe Danone has built the
tournament on four fundamental pillars: fair play, openness, accessibility and passion for the game and uses football as an important platform to bring
health through sport to as many kids as possible. We promote healthy habits and encourage the youth to believe in their dreams.”
The Danone Nations Cup is an international human adventure, involving 2, 5 million of kids from 40 countries every year. Since it’s inception in 2000
the Danone Nations Cup has touched 16 million people around the world.