SOUTHERN Africa’s first elite one-stop sports facility, the High Performance Centre (HPC) in Pretoria will host this year’s National Final of the Nestlé MILO Champions Tournament. The venue of choice for sports professionals and enthusiasts alike, the centre will play host to tomorrow’s sporting champions when the nine provincial finalists compete for glory on Saturday, 8 September from 9am.
The 2012 National Final follows the recent completion of the provincial final leg, where nine teams representing South Africa’s provinces were crowned provincial champions. Considered the most anticipated tournament in the junior football calendar year, the Nestlé MILO Champions Tournament has been hosted by Nestlé South Africa, in conjunction with the South African School’s Football Association (SASFA), for the past five consecutive years.
This year, the schools that will battle it out on the lush football fields of the High Performance Centre are: Ndongeni Primary (Kwa-Zulu Natal), Sebabatso Primary (Free State), Miragoma Primary (Limpopo), Moraladi Primary (Northern Cape), Bree Primary (Gauteng), Ebetsamang Primary (North West), Cloetsville Primary (Western Cape), Sada Senior Secondary (Eastern Cape) and Daniye Primary (Mpumalanga).
The school that will be crowned National Champions on Saturday will receive R150 000 to invest in an initiative aligned with Nestlé MILO’s values of Nutrition, Health and Wellness. The winning school will be able to use the funds to improve the sporting facilities or buy sporting equipment for their school.
“The health and growth of children has always been very important to Nestlé, and through the platform of football, we saw an opportunity to actively engage with these children and educate them about the mental and physical advantages of leading a healthy lifestyle. That is one of the reasons Nestlé partnered with Shaun Bartlett as the tournament brand ambassador. As a former Bafana Bafana and Charlton Athletic player with a football career spanning over 15 years, he is exactly the kind of role model that these children aspire to be like and we are proud to have him on board,” says Kelly Wainwright, Nestlé South Africa Marketing Manager for Beverages.
Shaun Bartlett’s role as the Tournament Brand Ambassador is to carry out the message that the Nestlé MILO Champions Tournament is more than just about football; it is about the holistic nurturing and growth of South Africa’s youth, both mentally and physically. Given Shaun’s experience in local and international football, as well as running his own children’s football academy in Johannesburg, he remains the best possible ambassador to carry out this key message and educate the youth about the benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle.
“These nine champions are some of the best that have ever participated in the tournament; inevitably competition for the national honours will be tough. We are extremely proud that these young players, including those players who did not make it to the national final,” says Mandla “Shoes” Mazibuko, President of SASFA.