THE COPA Coca-Cola Under-15 boys and girls dream team left the country on Wednesday for a one-week long global camp in Durban, South Africa.
The camp which started on Thursday at the famous Durban beach will conclude on 9 October.
The team comprising of eight boys and eight girls departed Harare International Airport via Johannesburg where they were joined by other continental and international teams from around the world, including Russia, Nigeria, Tunisia and Kenya.
This is a historic camp for the Zimbabwean girls who are making their maiden appearance. The girls’ team is coached by 2017 and five time winner of Copa Coca-Cola Zimbabwe championship, Yeukai Chiruvu of Chidyamakono while Eremu Joseph Madzinga of Rusunguko High School will instruct the boys. Madzinga led Rusunguko to glory this year, winning the under 15 Copa Coca-Cola boys championship for the first time.
The delegation is led by National Association of Secondary Heads (Nash) acting head in charge of football, Ropafadzo Matemavi and Coca-Cola Marketing activations manager, Vee Chibanda.
“Coca-Cola is committed to leveraging football to positively impact youth in communities through its grassroots soccer. Copa Coca-Cola gives teens and budding footballers a platform to nurture and develop their talent into professional footballers. We are excited to announce that starting this year we are taking girls to the camp. As the platform where football dreams are made into reality, Copa Coca-Cola once again is offering aspiring Zimbabweans football stars a once in a life time opportunity to receive world class exposure and training from world class coaches. We hope this camp will take the boys and girls a step further in their football careers,” added Chibanda.
While in South Africa, the players will also have the opportunity to be mentored and to gain football skills from professional coaches who have been selected for the event.
In South Africa, teams are going to compete in Five-A-Side matches starting at group stages on Friday.
The quarter-finals and the final match are set for Saturday
Zimbabwe are former holders of the African Copa Coca-Cola Trophy after they won the gong in South Africa in 2013.
The young boys and girls are also set to tour a number of places including Moses Mabhida Stadium and Durban City.
As an annual schools tournament in Zimbabwe, Copa Coca-Cola has produced many notable starts that have excelled in the Premier League, foreign leagues and the national teams. These, among others include Peter Ndlovu, Cephas Chimedza, Ovidy Karuru, Alois Bunjira, Johannes Ngodzo and Norman Maroto, Washington Arubi, Knowledge Musona and Harlington Shereni.