By FOCUS REPORTER
BARKERVILLE Primary school made history on Saturday when they won the Danone Nations Cup and will be the first team from the Eastern Cape to represent South Africa in the World Finals taking place in Madrid, Spain.
This year’s Danone Nations which is schedulled for October 5-10 will see Barkeville and 39 other countries around the world taking each other for the universl title.
Barkerville Primary was undoubtedly the best team on the day winning all their League games to top Group A clinching a spot in the final. In Group B it was not such an easy ride. Kgwathele Primary from Limpopo managed to beat Sapebuso Primary from Gauteng by a mere point.
And so the final was an Eastern Cape versus Limpopo affair, but Barkerville was just too strong for the youngsters from the North and beat Kgwathele 1 – 0. The goal was scored by Qhamani Mandlevu about four minutes into the second half making this his third goal of the day.
“I am just so excited today,” said 11 year old Mandlevu. “It was my dream to win and get to go to Spain. I have heard that there are scouts at the Danone Nations Cup World Finals and I would really like to play well in front of them and hopefully catch the eye of one of them. Even though I am only 11, I would like to go and play internationally from as early as possible.”
Mpilo Canga, Barkerville coach said: “The message I instil in the boys is to always play with confidence and trust in your ability. This will be the first time that any of these boys, including myself, will travel out the country and I am glad that the hard work that we have put into training has paid off!”
Danone Ambassador, Neil Tovey, attended the finals: “I saw some talented individuals here today. The youngsters that won are going to the Mecca of world football, Spain, and this will be a memory these players will cherish forever. But there were other teams that were also good today, one being the team from KwaZulu-Natal, Ndongeni Primary. I was really impressed with the talent as well as they way they played and for this credit must go to the coaches.”
Group Danone, one of the world’s largest producers of fresh dairy products, started the competition in 2000 with the desire to act sustainably on behalf of children’s well-being and health. Football as a universal sport is the perfect way to promote values like fair play, the pleasure of the game, team spirit, sharing -and above all- human values like openness, and respect, explains Sandra Dorville, communications manager of Danone South Africa.
“By bringing healthy food and some good healthy fun together, children learn about life through a shared experience. And to those who get to the world finals, it is an experience that will undoubtedly become a cherished memory,” says Dorville