Discovery’s grass root tournament is back with a bang
One of the effervescent soccer tournament in the country will soon hit the ground this Friday at the Nike Football Training Centre in Klipspruit, Soweto.
As usual this pulsating 15th instalment Discovery Walter Sisulu Soccer Challenge named after the iconic leader is set to attract thousand of soccer lovers.
Organisers say this iconic community talent identification tournament that has become a breeding ground for discovering the country’s next big stars is expected to lighten up the Gauteng province and entertain spectators throughout the festive season, from the 1st to the 29th of December.
Furthermore,at the launch it was also announced that there will be zero tolerance for unruly behavior and that bottles will be strictly forbidden.
Safa CEO, Dennis Mumble told the packed audience that he hoped this soccer spectacle became a long lasting tradition. Adding that, this project was part of Safa’svision 2022 .
With tongue in cheek and referring to Discovery, he said, “We need you for another 15 years.”
Mumble also highlighted that his organisation will continue to encourage this partnership because it feed’s Safa’s vision 2022.
“This kind of tournament will help us reach our targets of training as many coaches. We fully support and endorse this project,” he said.
Discovery’s Head of Vitality Wellness, Dr Craig Nossel, highlighted the importance of the tournament in the growth and development of youngsters.
“The tournament plays an important role in developing soccer in our country, and also bringing communities together. We use the opportunity to encourage and create awareness within the community about living healthier and more active lives.
“ Sport goes hand in hand with physical activity, healthy living and overall wellbeing of a person. Discovery is proud to be sponsoring an event that has become an institution in Soweto and something the community looks forward to every year,” said DrNossel.
On the sidelines, he told this reporter that, the tournament is not about putting your brand on the shirt.
“Its about partnering and helping the event to grow bigger.”
Chairman of the Soweto Football Association Phil Mogodi conveyed his excitement on the 15-year milestone and the steadfast partnership between SAFA and Discovery that has improved the lives of many talented footballers.
“It is amazing that this spectacle has only existed for 15 years. So much talent has been identified in such a short period of time. This tournament is more than just entertainment for the community. It also gives hope to the people of Soweto as it is backed by a brand that believes in this tournament and its importance. I am looking forward to the development of more players in this year’s tournament and I would like to encourage spectators to come out in their numbers and enjoy community diski,”Mogodi argued.
The launch was also attended BafanaBafana and Bidvest Wits captain, ThulaniHlatshwayo who along with the likes of Supersport United winger SifisoMyeni and recent graduate, Lyle Foster of Orlando Pirates are among the country’s top footballers, whose career started at this tournament.
Hlatshwayoechoed Nossel’s words by expressing gratitude over the tournaments ability to uplift footballers in communities,
“I played in the Walter Sisulu Challenge and it contributed immensely to my career. I know that most of the players who played here and the community look forward to this tournament. The tournament creates a lot of hype and excitement for football lovers. I look forward to witnessing the skills on display this year.”
Did you know? 0rganisers say
- This much loved football tournament was established in honour of iconic leader Walter Sisulu who played a key role in South Africa’s fight for liberation and has inspired millions all over the world.
- They say,just as he has changed lives for the better, theSoccer Challenge aims to inspire greatness by providing exposure and a platform to identify as well as groom the country’s most promising football talent.
- This festive season showpiece will see 104 teams challenge for the championship. The teams are split into three categories; 56 teams will compete in the main category, 32 teams in the under 17 category and 16 teams in the women’s category.
This year’s prize money for the winners of this year’s tournament is as follows:
- Tournament Champions (Men’s Open Category) – R100 000.00
- Tournament Champions (Men’s Under 17 Category) – R 20 000.00;
- Tournament Champions (Women’s Open Category) – R20 000.00;