Wednesday, June 28, 2017
The stage is set for a cracking Danone Nations Cup national final this weekend with the winning school to compete in the world finals in the USA in September
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The stage is set for the 2017 under-12 Danone Nations Cup national finals, happening on Saturday, 1 July at the WJ Clement Stadium in Reiger Park, with the nine provincial contenders vying for the opportunity to represent South Africa at the world finals happening in New York in September.
Most of the coaches agree that this week is the time for reflection, fine tuning, getting in a bit of rest and most importantly building team spirit and instilling confidence in the kids.
A coach that has experience at this level, after winning the nationals last year and going on to take his team to France, is Mbishi Mokoena from Benny’s Sports Academy and Development. He is advising the coaches to encourage the kids to have fun and enjoy the experience.
“This is not the time to put pressure on the kids and push them,” he said. “For these last few days it is important to do simple things and rest key players so there are no injuries. The coaches must focus on the mental and not physical aspect of the game. Just explain to the boys what to expect. They are already champions having come this far. This is their day to shine.”
Mokoena went on to caution. “I would also advise the coaches to allow the kids to express themselves and show off their talents. Don’t shout at them from the side of the field. They have had them since January and it is now time to let them show what they have and how they perform on the big stage.”
There has been one change to the original school line up with Bankara-Bodulong Intermediate School from Kuruman now representing the Northern Cape and replacing Roodepan Primary School. The coach, Gaza Mosala, who has a SAFA level 2 coaching certificate, has declared the team ready and able to step in at this final stage.
Entrance into the stadium on Saturday is free and sponsors, Danone, are promising a day full of fun for the whole family.
“As well as the best under-12 soccer teams in the country playing, we have turned the outer fields into an activation area where anyone can come and enter skills competitions and win prizes,” said Chantel Ehlers, Internal Communications Manager, Danone. “Our kit sponsors, Mille will also be there with over 100 pairs of footwear that can be won. For the younger kids we have jumping castles, face painters and all sorts of other entertaining things to do.”
Danone’s yoghurt brand, Nutriday, will be showcasing its NutriDay Schools Programme Roadshow where kids are encouraged to develop healthy eating habits and why it’s so important to eat a balanced diet. All visitors on Saturday will be able to sample Danone’s newest brand DanUp (who has Itumeleng Khune as the ambassador). Those who haven’t tried it yet… Make sure you do this weekend!
The provincial champion schools are:
Sekusile Primary School, Mpumalanga
Mophela Primary School, KwaZulu-Natal
Isaac Booi Senior Primary School, Eastern Cape
Phaphama Public School, Free State
Idas Valley Primary School, Western Cape
Haggai Independent School, Limpopo
Mmamitlwa Primary School, North West
Arcon Park Primary School, Gauteng
Bankara-Bodulong Intermediate School, Northern Cape.