Registration for the world’s biggest Under 12 football tournament, the Danone Nations Cup, is open and the South African Schools Football Association (SASFA) and Danone are encouraging all primary schools in the country to enter. The prize: a trip to London to participate in the World Finals and get to play before French ex national player, Zinadine Zidane.
South Africa has been participating in the Danone Nations Cup World Finals since its inception in 2000 and holds the record as the only country to have won the tournament three times: 2003, 2007 and 2009.
Registration for 2013 closes on 15 February and the competition start at Cluster level on 18 February. The Cluster winners then compete in the Regional finals culminating in the nine provincial winners playing in the National finals to determine the school that will represent South Africa at the World Finals.
2012 champions, Sinamova Primary School from KwaZulu-Natal will be entering again this year: “Against all odds we won the 2012 National Finals and went to Warsaw, Poland, to play in the World Finals, which was a life-changing experience for our boys,” said coach, Khonza Khoane. “Every player has come back a better footballer due to watching how other countries play and learning from them. And then there were the friends the players made as well. I have also noted a dramatic change in the way the players are approaching their school work as that one trip has alerted them to the many opportunities out there and through education they know that they can achieve their dreams.”
But there is more to the tournament than football. “There are many facets to the Danone Nations Cup,” explains Chantel Ehlers, Communications Specialist, 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.”
Many of the teams that participate in the World Finals each year are drawn from football programmes that operate in distressed areas and from social development initiatives that use football as a vehicle to uplift young people.
The Danone Nations Cup is an international human adventure involving 2, 5 million kids from approximately 40 countries every year. Since its inception in 2000 the Danone Nations Cup has touched 25 million people around the world.
To enter the competition schools must contact the national coordinator at SASFA, Mr. Themba Tshabalala on 011 567 2822, who will direct them on registration forms, rules and regulations etc alternatively they can visit the facebook page: Danone Nations Cup South Africa or URL: www.facebook.com/dncsouthafrica and download all the necessary documents.