Home » Sports » Copa Coca-Cola Makes a Pitch in Highfield

THE Copa Coca-Cola boys Under-16 and girls Under-17 football tournament reaches its climax with the national finals set for next week at Gwanzura.

And organisers say the setting provides a historic chapter for a tourney that has produced a galaxy of the country’s best footballers with Coca-Cola playing a huge role in helping nurture some of the nation’s best teenage talents.

The Castle Lager Premiership have also helped by not fixturing a match at the venue on the day after a request was made, showing that they also see the value in youth soccer development.

Next Saturday, the Copa will be played at the Zimbabwe Grounds, where a number of football legends honed their skills, Takashinga Cricket Academy, Highfield High School, Kuwangira and Chengu Schools.

Harare’s Churchill and Roosevelt will be the host schools while Chidyamakono Girls and Chemhanza will be the defending champions.

Churchill and Roosevelt are the hosting schools for the event.

It will be the 26th edition for the boys tournament and the girls competition will be running for the fourth year after it was introduced in 2011 in an effort to give equal opportunities for both boys and girls in sport.

Most of the provinces completed the provincial competitions last month but Mashonaland East could not host both the boys and girls competition at the same time, which saw the girls’ finals being moved to yesterday.

The 10 provincial finalists in both the boys and girls sections will join the defending champions and hosting schools in the respective categories making the teams 24 in total.

The teams will be grouped into four groups of three teams.

Chemhanza are the defending champions in the boys section and Chidyamakono from Masvingo are the title holders in the girls’ category.

Chidyamakono won the title for the first time after beating Vainona, who were the defending champions in the finals. Vainona had won the title since the girls tournament inception in 2011.

The tournament started in May with the zonal competition before the winners progressed to the district level and the provincial championships culminating in the national finals.

There are also indications that prizes are likely to remain the same with the boys getting US$5 000 while the girls will receive US$3 000.

Provincial Finalists

Boys: Harare (Oriel Boys High) Bulawayo (Mzilikazi), Manicaland (Mutare Boys High), Mashonaland Central (Chipadze), Mashonaland West (Vimbai), Masvingo (Pamushana), Mashonaland East (Mukondwa), Matabeleland North (Chinonge), Matabeleland South (Mzingwane), Midlands (Cheziya).

Girls: Harare (Vainona) Bulawayo (Magwegwe), Manicaland (Nyamaruru), Mashonaland Central (St Francis), Mashonaland West (Sodbury), Masvingo (Chidzikwe), Matabeleland South (Muzimuni), Matabeleland North (Chilisa), Midlands (Gato).

Source : The Herald