MARKETING: Cape Town To Host World Class Sporting Events
Recent Western Cape Business News
The City of Cape Town has added several sporting events to its burgeoning calendar for 2012, which are in line with this administration’s goal of establishing Cape Town as the events capital of the African continent. These particular events are also very special as they are all focused on youth development in the build-up to the month of June.
The hosting of prestigious and well known events has ensured that it has become the norm for Cape Town to be regarded as a top choice to host sporting events and programmes, and that through such sporting events, the City of Cape Town is furthering its youth development programmes, using sport to engage young people, teach life skills and encourage the youth to stay educated and entertained.
“It is appropriate that these events occur during the period where we annually focus on youth development and leadership as part of youth month during June. Cape Town is an Inclusive City that creates opportunities for all age groups especially the youth,“ said Councillor Tandeka Gqada, Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services.
Over the next few weeks, the City and its departments will be supporting the 8 Nations U20 International Football Challenge 2012, the IRB U20 Rugby World Cup and a visit from up and coming young players from the English Premier League.
“We hope that these events will not only serve to solidify Cape Town’s status as a premier events location, but also serve as a platform for young people, both local and international, to cultivate an interest in sport and launch professional careers,” said Mayoral Committee Member for Tourism, Events and Marketing Councillor Grant Pascoe.
The 8 Nations U20 International Football Challenge 2012 will kick off on Friday 25 May and run till Sunday 3 June, signifying the return of the tournament after its highly successful inauguration in 2010, just before the 2010 FIFA World Cup™. That success is what prompted officials to agree that the event will now be held every two years.
Games are played at both Athlone and Cape Town Stadiums, as well as utilising some of the top-rated practice venues throughout the city. Tickets will be on sale from Computicket and Shoprite/Checkers at R20 and R50 each.
Participating in the tournament will be some of the world’s finest young football players, and both Argentina and Brazil, the world’s most powerful U20 football nations with a total of 11 U20 World Cup titles between them, have been named. The only other country to break their stranglehold on the world crown in the past decade is Africa’s Ghana after their Black Satellites were crowned 2009 world champions. They will be joined by the South African hosts, Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Kenya and Japan. South Africa’s Amajita have been put in Group A with Argentina, Nigeria and Ghana.
“It is important that we expose our youth to young role models and this tournament provides an ideal platform for the youth of Cape Town to see in real life what participation and discipline in sport can achieve. This is enhanced by the fact that the teams will all practise at community facilities throughout the city from Mitchells Plain to Gugulethu,” said Councillor Gqada.
On the other end of the sports field, the IRB U20 Rugby World Cup will be hosted by the City and the Stellenbosch Municipality, and will see 12 teams from around the world converge on the UWC and Danie Craven Stadiums to compete for the title of the Junior World Champions.
Showcasing the duality of Cape Town sporting facilities, both tournaments serve as a reminder that sport not only brings people together, but also shows the youth of this Province an alternative, healthy lifestyle, giving them an opportunity to achieve their potential and contribute to the upliftment of our nation’s social well-being.
This is most clearly demonstrated by the Skillshare International PSL Scholar Study Tour. In partnership with the City of Cape Town, a delegation from the English Premier League and the Professional Football Association arrived in Cape Town on 18 May. All 20 teams from the Premier League have nominated their best young players, each considered to have a future as a first player in the League and the young stars of tomorrow.
Having passed through England’s Premier League’s academy, each of the young players have coaching and referee qualifications and the purpose of this study tour is to educate these young players on how football is being used to uplift the youth and give them an opportunity to be great, and become Africa’s very own generation of stars.
The City’s Sport, Recreation and Amenities Department will transport 250 children aged between 12 - 15 years from all over the Western Cape for a day of learning and general football fun. Visits are also being planned to community projects in Khayelitsha, Masiphumelele/Ocean View, Langa and Mitchells Plain.
The City has partnerships with a number of organisations such as Stepping Stones, WP Athletics, Gym for Life, Coaching for Hope and Sporting Change to host sport development programmes that are designed for youth of all ages and all fitness and athletic levels. These programmes aim to encourage the youth to participate in physical activities.
“The next few weeks will show that not only is Cape Town the kind of city capable of hosting any sporting event, but it is also a city where sport is used as a development tool to bring together communities, take care of our children and include everyone in the fostering of social cohesion,” said Cllr Pascoe.
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