Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Danone Nations Cup Northern Cape Provincial Finals kicking off
The under-12 Danone Nations Cup football provincial finals are about to get under way, and first up is the Northern Cape.
Five regional winners will be in action at the Paballelo Stadium in Upington on Saturday 19th March, kicking off at 10am.
The Five schools have come through a round of local cluster matches and regional playoffs and will now be competing for the right to represent the Northern Cape province at the national finals of the competition in Gauteng on 25 June.
The schools are:
Leerkrans Intermediate School (ZF Mgcawu district).
Van Rensburg Primary School (Pixley Ka Seme district).
Vlakfontein Intermediate School (John Taolo district).
Dr Isak van Niekerk Primary School (Namakwa district).
Beacon Primary School (Francis Baard district)
Leerkrans Intermediate School has been trying to reach the provincial finals for 5 years, and have finally made it. Their coach, Ronnie Cloete believes they are ready for the challenge. “We have not lost a single match so far this year, although I know the provincial finals will be different,” he said.
Jenwill Rooi will be their key player, Cloete said. “He is physically strong and always up to the challenge and is never afraid to ask questions if he doesn’t understand something.”
Dr Isak van Niekerk Primary School is at a slight advantage as they completed in the provincial finals last year and, although they were knocked out they have some experience of the pressure that goes with this level of the competition, said coach Gavin Cloete. He goes on to credit the entire school, parents and the local community who have been fully behind them. His focus this year has been on the accuracy of the players. “We participate in this tournament because we want to bring change into the kids’ lives, we want them to be sociable, confident and interact with other kids from all over,” he said.
Relatively new on the block is Vlakfontein Intermediate School. According to the coach, Lawrence Senyamore, this is the second time they are playing in the competition and the first time they have qualified for the provincials. He is coaching the team for the first time, and although he has no coaching experience, he believes his youth and passion is going to take them far. “The school designated me as the coach as I am the youngest teacher at the school (27 years old) and have the energy and enthusiasm to see them through to the next round.”
Van Rensburg Primary School is in the provincial finals for the third time. They came close to qualifying for the nationals last year and, according to coach, Jus Marolla, the disappointment at being knocked out in the final game has led them to work even harder this time.
“The key to success is ball possession at all times, using the entire field and taking your chances,” he said. “Discipline and listening is also important, but I also tell the players that everyone loses. What is important is how you rise above it and continue. A loss doesn’t mean the end of the world.”
The fifth school is Beacon Primary School who will represent the Francis Baard district. The school from Kimberley will be competing in the provincials for the first time after being knocked out early in the competition last year. Manager, Mr Davis, is pleased with how the team performed at the district finals. “We lost our first game and the boys were crying, but they picked themselves up and we won the next three games to top the log and qualify for the provincials. The boys say they now ‘smell the tar’ meaning they are getting ready to travel to the nationals.”
As the deputy principal Davis has had to employ a coach to assist this year as the work pressure prevented him giving of his best to the team. “Coach Norman is currently unemployed and we are happy to have him on a voluntary basis this year. He has no coaching qualifications but did play for Northern Cape Celtics in the promotion league so he has a good understanding of the game.”
Davis has two exceptional players in the team as they are versatile and he positions them according to the opposition. He says his players this year are better skilled and have a stronger physique than last year and he is looking forward to seeing how they perform and how they rise to the occasion at the provincials.
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One of the core values of the Danone Nations Cup tournament is to encourage young people to believe in their dreams. Through this initiative Danone offers a sporting event that reaches out to and inspires millions of children all over the world