FNB makes further investment into future SA football development
Johannesburg –First National Bank (FNB) today announced a comprehensive investment in South African football development through a sponsorship package that focuses mainly on key developmental and legacy flagship programmes. The bank has committed an amount of R18 million which will extend the current sponsorship of the SA National Under 17 boys team (Amajimbos) and it will also include new support for the Under 17 girls team (Bantwana) for a period of three years.
The bank has also announced its continued involvement and support for post-2010 FNB football legacy programmes around the country.
“FNB has a long and proud history in football. This includes not only our support for the National Under 17 teams and our investment in the iconic FNB Stadium to our lead role in supporting the 2010 FIFA World Cup, culminating into our football legacy programme to ensure our ongoing commitment to the future development of the game. This legacy will allow for the continued and sustainable flow of talent of our future football stars,” says Derek Carstens, FNB Brand Director .
In the run up to the FIFA 2010 World Cup, the bank built and commissioned four football turfs (artificial pitches) in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu Natal, Western Cape and Limpopo provinces. The fifth artificial pitch will be completed and launched in the Northern Cape (Kimberly) by June next year. These turfs will also be used as part of the FNB legacy programme whereby in partnership with the South African Football Association (SAFA), it will host development squads, soccer clinics, FNB Classic Clashes and regional/international matches for the national Under 17 teams at the newly constructed football turfs. The bank invested around R15 million in this project.
“The bank’s investment into the sports facilities aligns with the national agenda of developing school sport across all the Provinces with the aim of integrating it into the school learning system. Such initiatives also create platforms for football development and talent identification for our youth. This new infrastructure stands as a symbol of development in most disadvantaged communities,” continued Carstens.
The FNB legacy programme has also enlisted as Ambassadors the support and commitment of two African Football Legends, namely Lucas Radebe as FNB’s South Africa Ambassador and Kalusha Bwalya as FNB’s Africa Ambassador for the legacy programme.
“When two legends of the game sign-on unreservedly for a development programme of this nature it can only emphasize the seriousness of the need for youth development across Africa. With the invaluable input from Lucas and Kalusha, we hope to drive this programme to greater heights and connect with many more youngsters,” added Carstens.
On the U/17 national squads sponsorship, Carstens said: “While FNB has enjoyed a long collaboration with the Amajimbos, we will also be sponsoring the U/17 girls’ side, Bantwana. This investment in our youth will hopefully act as a platform for the development of not only football skills, but also life skills for the individual team members.”
SAFA President Kirsten Nematandani says; “the sporting development of our youth is a continual battle with so many other societal pressures influencing South African youngsters. With the support of sponsors as FNB we are able to take greater steps in the right direction and offer our up-and-coming sportsmen and women not only the support they need on the pitch, but also the guidance and mentorship in other aspects of their lives.”
“Through the Legacy Programme, FNB demonstrates not only its vision and support of South Africa’s future footballers but reaffirms once again its commitment to the sport in South Africa. For the next three years we have ensured the continued development in our communities and hopefully will have a part to play in giving rise to the next African football legends,” concludes Nematandani.