Thousands of young footballers across the Country have the chance to display their skills and celebrate their passion for the game with the launch of the 2016 edition of the world’s largest brand-supported grassroots football tournament,Copa Coca-Cola.
Now in it’s 27th year, the football Championship seeks to not only encourage teens to demonstrate that fact that sport goes beyond games and means team spirit,comradeship and respect .
This year’s edition will see Coca-Cola partner with the Ministry of Education through the Kenya Secondary Schools Sports Association ( KSSSA),in the Organization of the regional tournaments.
The regional tournaments will be held in seven regions across the Country that includes that includes metropolitan,Garissa North Eastern,Coast,Highlands,Arbadares,Mau,Nzoia and Lake regions.Winners from these regions will converge in Embu for the National Championship in June.
All participating players will be awarded certificates of participation.In addition,a select all-star team will be given the opportunity to attend a fully funded training camp where they will be exposed to high performance coaching to enhance and develop their football skills”, added Mr.Maina .
Ministry of Education Director,Co-Curricular Co-ordinator Mr.Johnson K Ikiugu lauded the programme saying the youth require all the support and encouragement from the Society to narture their talent for their development.
Over the past years,the international training camps have seen players visit and train in exciting aspirational locations which included Tuks sports Village,a high performance center at the University of Pretoria,South Africa as well as Chelsea football Club’s training grounds in London,Cobmam training facility,where the players had an opportunity to visit the Stamford Bridge Stadium for a live match.
Last year two youngsters from last year’s Copa-Cola championships traveled to Berlin,Germany for a six-day Copa Coca Cola International camp at the prestigious Lindow sports Academy.
Benson Matheka student at Koamalel Secondary School and Brian Mumo from Nyeri High school were part of 100 footballing teens from 27 countries to receive top-of-class training as well as forge friendships and gain valuable skills both on and off the pitch.
The six-day trip to Berlin was packed with training sessions,workshops ,games,events and coaching guidance from members of Germany’s 2014 FIFA World Cup winning football team that included the German National Assistant team Coach Hansi Flick and Benedikt Howedes,a member of the German world cup winning team and the captain of German Bundesliga team Schalke 04.
Riftvalley’s Kitale youth and Western’s Shinyalu Girls took honors at last year’s championships in the boys and Girls categories respectively.
We expect a stiffer competition this year since the teams have been preparing extensively to improve on Last year’s performance .Football fans across the country should make their way to the regional finals venues and expect to be treated to some exciting games from the youngsters”,said the KSSSA Secretary General Mr.David Ngugi.
The winners in the boys and categories will each pocket Ksh.500,000 with the runners-up taking home Ksh.200,000.The third place playoff winners will go home with 100,000.
Winning teams from the various regions will be recognized and awarded with medals and trophies.