THE 2018 edition of the Copa Coca-Cola football tournament was launched yesterday at Rusununguko High School, in Mashonaland East, with the organisers announcing an increase in the prize monies for the girls section.
BY HENRY MHARA
The tournament, funded by Delta Beverages and run in partnership with the National Association of Secondary Heads (Nash) is played by the boys under-15 and the girls under-16 age groups.
Previously, winners of the tournament in the boys section would receive $5 000, $1 500 more than what the girls got.
However, the disparity has been corrected starting this year, where the tournament is celebrating its 30th anniversary.
“This year, we have realised that there is no reason why the boys should get more than what the girls get. So the good news is, as we mark our 30th anniversary, we have equalled the prize monies. The prizes will be the same for the girls and the boys, so everyone let’s play to the best of our potential as we are set to win the same,” said Coca-Cola senior brand manager Vee Chibanda .
She added, “This is our 30th year sponsoring boys soccer, but we have also seen that it cannot only be about boys, we also need to include girls, so this is our eighth edition for girls sponsorship.”
Rusununguko High School, winners of the boys category, and girls winners Chidyamakono High School of Masvingo, will begin their title defenCe next week with the zonal games, followed by districts games on June 8.
The provincial finals are set for June 22, culminating into the national finals from July 12 to 14 in Zvishavane.
Zvishavane High School will host the girls while Mandava High School hosts the boys finals.
A select team from both girls and boys will participate in a regional tournament later this year.
”Last year we took the girls to the regional tournament for the first time, so we are not going back. We hope this year’s tournament will be a resounding success.”
The draw for the tournament was held at the launch, with some exciting match ups to look forward to.
In the boys section, Rusununguko face champions from Masvingo and Mashonaland West province in Group D, provinces that are traditionally powerhouses in schools football.
For the girls, Chidyamakono who seek their fourth straight title, are in group C, and will face winners from Mashonaland Central and Mashonaland West in the group stages.
Group A: Mandava, Harare, Manicaland. Group B: Bulawayo, Midlands, Matebeleland North. Group C: Mashonaland Central, Matebeleland South, Mashonaland East. Group D: Masvingo, Rusununguko (Defending champions), Mashonaland West .
Group A: Manicaland, Matebeleland South, Zvishavane High (Hosts). Group B: Mashonaland East, Midlands, Matebeleland North. Group C: Chidyamakono (Defending champions), Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland West. Group D: Harare, Masvingo, Bulawayo