BREE Primary School from Mayfair, Jo’burg, will be in action again this year in a bid to win the South African leg of the Danone Nations Cup and go on to compete in the World finals in Poland later in the year. If this is achieved the school will make history as the only South African school to play in the World Finals three times.
“It’s all about pride,” believes team manager, Dave Khalicharan. “We were SA champs for two years running. In 2008 we finished in 9th position in the World Finals in France and we won the 2009 World Finals which were played in South Africa in 2010. We managed to get to the Provincial Finals in 2010 and 2011 but that is as far as we got. This year we want to redeem ourselves.”
Khalicharan admits that competition will be tough. “We will have to face opponents such as Sabepuso Primary from Orlando West and Dr Knak Primary from Alexandra. We have come up against both teams before and they have beaten us, but this year we are prepared.”
Meanwhile, 11 year old striker and captain, Nkosinathi Nzimande, from Sinenzuzo Primary School from KwaZulu-Natal believes his team is ready for the season and could just cause an upset again. “We were the 2010 National Champions and I believe we could well win again this year. Last year we were beaten early in the competition by Inakemazolo, but we learnt our lesson.”
Sinenzuzo has three players that competed in 2011: “The three experienced players and the principal are giving us moral support which is helping us to keep focused,” said Nzimande. “But all I want to do is to go to Poland and shake hands with the Danone Nations Cup ambassador, Zinedine Zidane. That is my ultimate dream.”
The Danone Nations Cup is the biggest football tournament for kids between the ages of 10 and 12 in the world. The inaugural tournament kicked off in 2000 and since then the tournament has touched the lives of 12 million people around the world. “Danone, the world’s largest producer of fresh dairy products, started this tournament with the desire to act responsibly and focus on children’s well being and health,” explains Sandra Dorville, Communications Manager of Danone Southern Africa. “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.”
“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.
The Danone Nations Cup South Africa kicked -off with in Mpumalanga last weekend at the eMbalenhle Stadium, Secunda.