By NAKAMPE LEKWADU
NORTH West will be on the spotlight this coming Saturday (August 18) when four schools which won the Metropolitan SASFA Under-16 Regional Championships in their respective regions battles for the provincial title.
Not only will the two schools that reach the finals of the competition scheduled for the local Stadium at Tsitsing village in Rustenburg will battle it out for the provincial supremacy, but they will both earn their passage through to the 18 schools National Finals which is scheduled for October where they will represent the Platinum province. The winning school in the National Finals will go on to represent the country in the International Soccer Federation World Cup to be held in France.
The four schools which are vying for the Provincial Championships in North West include Arefadimeheng High from Dr Kenneth Kaunda region, Freedom Park Secondary (Bojanala region), Sol Plaatjie Secondary (Ngaka Modiri Molema region) and Reabetswe Secondary (Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati region).
Metropolitan sponsorship manager, Jennifer Padayachee was excited about North West’s Provincial Championships, saying: “This stage of the competition is particularly crucial for the teams. They are one
step away from representing their province at the national finals. Winning will rely on teamwork and determination and I encourage the players to make the best of this opportunity to shine. The Metropolitan SASFA Under-16 Cup is so much more than just another football tournament. It exposes our talented youth to experiences that help them shape their future.”
President of the South African Schools Football Association and SAFA vice-president, Mandla ‘Shoes’ Mazibuko added, “Metropolitan has a long history of supporting development football in South Africa. Success of national teams is dependent on identifying and growing talent at an early age. Only a handful of companies are prepared to support development football and we are pleased that Metropolitan remains committed to this sponsorship.”
Metropolitan has once again enlisted the expertise of respected coach, Tebogo Moloi, as an ambassador for the competition. In the lead-up to the national championship, the former Bafana Bafana midfielder will visit each of the nine provinces, conducting coaching clinics for the two national finalists in preparation for the showdown in Rustenburg.
In keeping with their holistic policy of community youth development, a Life Skills component forms part of every Metropolitan-sponsored tournament. A team of CSI specialists will travel to each province to address the entire student body of the winning schools to provide financial and health education.
The action gets under way at the Tsitsing stadium in Rustenburg at 9am with the finals taking place in the afternoon.
North West will be the third province to produce their provincial representative in the National Finals after Free State and Mpumalanga.
In Free State, Harmony and Setshabasamaketse High Schools with Mpumalanga’s Tikhontele Secondary and Matimba Middle School having already booked themselves positions in the National Finals.
Last year saw SuperSport United’s adopted Rosina Sedibane-Modiba won the competition after they narrowly beat Free State’s Harmony Academy 1-0, a courtesy goal of Zakhele Mgobhozi in the final match to defend their title in front of a capacity crowd at the Mamelodi Central Ground outside Tshwane after a week-long competition which was full of live-wired action and fun.
The Tshwane-base school which dethroned KwaZulu-Natal’s Umqhele the title with a 4-3 victory on penalties in 2010 during the National Finals held in Mdatsane’s Gompies Sports Complex in the Eastern Cape went on to represent South Africa in the International Soccer Federations World Cup held in Brazil last year.