Aspiring young footballers from across Soweto will be honing their soccer skills as they take to the pitch for the inaugural Sunfoil Schools’ League, running from August 14 to November 6.
The official event launch, hosted at the Nike Centre on Tuesday, August 14, was attended by representatives from Willowton Group, as well as fellow stakeholders – the Department of Basic Education, the South African Football Association, as well as the Soweto Local Football Association.
Willowton Group – manufacturers of South Africa’s number one Sunflower oil brand Sunfoil - is one of Africa’s top edible oil processors, as well as one of the leading competitors in the South African FMCG market. The Pietermaritzburg-based organisation has a long history of community upliftment through sports development and supporting various sporting disciplines from grassroots level.
“We are so proud to welcome all the players to the Sunfoil Schools’ League, and hope that this proves to be a challenging, but ultimately fun, contest,” said David Sweidan, Willowton Group Marketing Executive. “Capturing the attention of the South African youth and channelling their energy into positive, rewarding activities such as football can only prove beneficial for society.”
Sweidan said that, in addition to improved health through outdoors activities, football imparted lifelong lessons which put competitors on the right track to achieve their goals.
“Being involved in a grassroots development programme such as the Sunfoil Schools League further realises our vision of uplifting our communities that we service. Sport and especially football is a great way to engage our youth into activities that teach them self- discipline, commitment and hard work. “
A spokesperson from the Department of Basic Education commented, “The Sunfoil Schools’ League aligns with the department’s youth-development programmes which seek to promote opportunities for South Africans across the sporting and academic arenas. We believe that this league will give these youngsters the chance to improve their sports’ skills while competing in a fun, well-organised event. And, hopefully, the league will uncover a few of South Africa’s next football stars as well!”
Also amongst the guests was SuperSport United midfielder Reneilwe Letsholonyane who commented, “The programme is an opportunity of a lifetime which will help further develop the community by bringing education and Football together”
The 12-week Sunfoil Schools’ League will see 14 schools putting forward two teams each to compete in the contest - consisting of a total of 14 girls’ league teams and 14 boys’ teams. Structured in a group and knockout format, the six-a-side teams will battle it out in 10 competitive rounds, with the opening match on Tuesday, 14 August and the final showdown taking place on Tuesday, 6 November.
The 14 participating schools are Lulama Primary School, Batsogile Primary School, Motjoli Primary School, Winnie Ngwekazi Primary School, Nkholi Primary School, Tshebedisano Primary School, Mdelwa Hlongwane Primary School, Thembu Primary School, Khandubuhle Primary School, Pimville Bantu Primary School, Paul Mosaka Primary School, Faresani Primary School, Leihlo Primary School and Wisani Primary School.
Sunfoil has sponsored sports’ equipment and uniforms for all the schools with every competitor receiving a Participation Certificate, as well as Sunfoil trophies and Sunfoil medals for the winning team. There will be a final awards’ ceremony hosted immediately after the final game.
The Sunfoil Schools’ League Schedule
Round 1: 14 August
Round 2: 21 August
Round 3: 28 August
Round 4: 4 September
Round 5: 11 September
Round: 18 September
Round 7: 25 September
Round 8: 9 October
Round 9: 16 October
Round 10: 23 October
Semi-Finals: 30 October
Finals: 6 November