The 26th Edition of the COPA Coca-Cola Under-15 soccer tournament finals will take place this weekend in Lusaka with 20 schools vying for the coveted COPA championship trophy. The prizes have been doubled from last year.
Provincial champions, a total of 10 girls’ teams and 10 boys’ teams from the country’s ten provinces will be competing for the national championship this weekend at and around Woodlands Stadium, with equal prizes for the girls and boys.
The COPA Coca-Cola schools tournament is an annual, grassroots football tournament which aims to identify, nurture and reward the best in young footballing talent.
The premier grassroots tournament that unlocks the ambitious dreams and possibilities of world’s football stars aims to inspire young footballers to achieve their dreams through a renowned and respected soccer tournament.
It gives voice to the faces who nurture the budding dreams and talents of young football heroes as it showcases our continent’s pride and belief in our upcoming soccer stars. It has nurtured many stars like Stopila Sunzu and Kennedy Mweene, to name a few.
“This is very special year as we have incorporated girls into the tournament and we will have our first winners this year. Not only have we incorporated girls but we equalled the prize money for both girls and boys as we want to support the uplifting of the girl child” said Coca-Cola Senior Brand Manager, Takunda Jinda.
“We will continue to support the growth of grassroots soccer and as many have benefited from COPA Coca-Cola over the years. Every year has its unique success story. Some have gone on to become superstars of the football fraternity.
“It is our ambition to continue to use this platform to as a platform for Zambian youth to showcase and hone their talents.” she said.
In Africa, COPA Coca-Cola is played in 22 other countries that include Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Angola, Mozambique, Zambia, Malawi, Botswana, Namibia, Rwanda, Congo, Swaziland, Nigeria and South Africa, Zimbabwe, Madagascar, Mauritius and Burundi.
Outside the continent, COPA Coca-Cola is also played in the Americas, Europe and Asia and is in a total 64 countries reaching out to over 1.3 million teenagers.
As the world’s most popular sport, football attracts countless young people who hope to one day become professional soccer stars.
Copa Coca-Cola is the largest brand-supported grassroots football tournament in the world, played in over 60 countries by 1.3 million teenage players, with the aim of inspiring young people to be active and healthy through their shared passion for the sport.
The tournament originated in Zimbabwe in 1989 with the aim of seeking to support the development of budding grassroots talent and promote active, healthy lifestyles among young people.