SchoolSports : African Bank U18 Football Challenge
The University of Johannesburg in partnership with the Gauteng Department of Sports, Arts and Culture, the Gauteng Department of Education and SAFA Gauteng hosted African Bank to announce the inaugural African Bank U18 Football Challenge.
This is a schools tournament for both boys and girls which aims to reach out to 15 -18 year old learners born from the 1st of January 1999 or younger in both rural and urban areas.
It aims to create a platform for universities to recruit potential football players and to emphasise the importance of education in the sport industry.
The tournament will take place in 6 provinces, namely: Gauteng, KwaZulu Natal, Western Cape, Free State, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.
The host of the Gauteng leg of the tournament, the University of Johannesburg, invited schools for provincial qualifiers, which concluded on the 19th of August 2017.
The draw for the main tournament took place at the University of Johannesburg, Soweto Campus, on Friday the 25th of August 2017, where 16 girls’ teams and 16 boys’ teams who qualified were drawn into four groups of four per segment.
The tournament will take place over three days from Friday the 1st of September until Sunday the 3rd of September at the University of Johannesburg, Bunting Road Campus. Please refer to the fixture list for match times.
To usher in the tournament, the Youth Football Technicians Lekgotla coaching workshops were hosted in the same six provinces mentioned above.
The objectives of these workshops were to help develop youth coaches, create an integrated network of coaches, address the daily struggles of youth coaches and find solutions to the gaps in talent tracking and talent management in youth football.
The winning school per segment will receive R15 000 prize money and an additional set of Adidas football playing kit. Individual prizes per category will go to the goalkeeper of the tournament, defender of the tournament, midfielder of the tournament, striker of the tournament, top goal scorer, and player of the tournament.
Other awards will go to the coach of the tournament, the referee of the tournament and teams who finish second, third and fourth per category.