07 April 2014 The 2014 Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup, the biggest under-19 schools soccer tournament in Africa, is about to get under way, with the schools involved vying for some serious prize money.
The tournament is now in its 10th year and the funds that will be allocated to the winning schools at provincial and national level are a whopping R3.4 million. All the prize money must be used to fund projects identified by the school that will enhance their pupils’ learning experience and help the community they are located in. For example, last year’s provincial and national winners, Clapham High school will be spending their R1.1 million winnings on building a multipurpose life skills centre at the school, and on furniture and computers.
Registration for the competition closed at the end of March and the organisers, the South African Schools Football Association (SASFA) are busy drawing up the fixtures for the games at cluster level. Once those matches have been played, the winners will go through to regional playoffs, followed by provincial championships, with the top two schools from each province going through to the national championships.
The news is that all the provincial winners from last year have registered, so the big guns are going to be battling it out again this year.
Clapham are the reigning champions and the school to beat, and according to Shawn Bishop from the Mamelodi Sundowns Academy, where the team is involved, soccer fans can expect to be well entertained. “Our under-17 team has been promoted to the under-19 age group and have already started preparing for the tournament. Again this year our development coaches will be attending as many provincial finals as possible in our continued quest to look for talent.”
Other schools to watch out for will be Rosina Sedibane, now that SuperSport United is not using the school to educate their development players. Harmony High School from Virginia has been the most successful school in recent years and they will certainly be in the running in the Free State again.
About the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup:
· The tournament is run under the auspices of the South Africa Football Association (SASFA)
Named after prominent businessman Patrice Motsepe’s late mother, the Sanlam Kay Motsepe Schools Cup offers the biggest prize money at school level in Africa (R3.4 million in total).
· The sponsors are: Sanlam, the Motsepe Foundation and the Sanlam Ubuntu-Botho Community Development Trust.
· The primary objective of the tournament is to revive the culture of school football amongst students between the age of 16 and 19 years old.
· The tournament also gives players the opportunity to showcase their skills to soccer scouts with the talented players being recruited into development structures to be nurtured and shaped into professional players.