THIS yeara��s edition of the prestigious schools tournament COPA Coca-Cola will be officially launched on Friday at Dewure High School in Masvingo provincea��s Gutu district.
The launch will be graced by officials from the sponsors Coca-Cola, who bankroll the competition with their bottling partners in Zimbabwe Delta Beverages and Mutare Bottling Company, National Association of Secondary Heads leadership and the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education Masvingo province.
This yeara��s theme is around the international premise of a�?Taste the Feelinga�?.
Over the years, players who have come through from the tournament and gone on to excel locally and internationally have been brought to the official launch to serve as an inspiration to the youngsters taking part in the competition. The same is anticipated this year with products from the tournament over the years expected to attend.
Dewure won the right to host the official launch after winning the boya��s final with a 4-3 penalty shootout victory over Rujeko at Barbourfields Stadium last year.
Chidyamakono, also from Masvingo province, winners of the girls section since 2013 were given the privilege to organise the official launch last year.
In 2011, Dewure hosted the initiation event after they had won the 2010 tournament whose finals took place in Masvingo.
COPA Coca-Cola is the premier grassroots tournament that unlocks the ambitious dreams and possibilities of Zimbabwea��s and worlda��s football stars.
COPA Coca-Cola continues to serve as an inspiration to young footballers to achieve their dreams through this renowned and respected soccer tournament by providing a global platform, camaraderie and opportunity for talented individuals.
The district and provincial finals are scheduled for 10 June and 8 July respectively while the national finals will be in Gwanda from 22 to 24 July.
With Matabeleland South having the rights to organise this yeara��s national event, it is understood that Gwanda and Plumtree were in the forefront but Coca-Cola and the National Association of Secondary Heads agreed that the provincial capital be the venue.
The last time the province staged the final was in 2006 when Plumtree High School played host.
a�?Coca-Cola strives to reach every corner of Zimbabwe identifying and nurturing football talent. As a result, we and NASH adopted a policy to have the hosting of national finals rotated among the countrya��s 10 provinces. This year, ita��s Matabeleland Southa��s turn to host the tournament. The province has hosted it before in Plumtree and this time we move to Gwanda as we spread it,a��a�� said Coca-Cola Zimbabwe brand manager Vee Chibanda
A total of 12 grounds have been identified for use, these being two each at Gwanda High, Senondo Primary, and Saint Christophera��s Primary while one pitch will be used at Jahunda Primary, Gwanda Secondary School, Pelandaba Stadium, Showgrounds, Joshua Mqabuko Polytechnic and Prisons.
Gwanda High School have gained automatic entry as the boys hosts while Colleen Bawn are going to the national finals as the home team for the girls. They are joined by last yeara��s boysa�� champions Dewure and Chidyamakono, who have won the championships three times in a row.