Copa Coca-Cola marks its 9th year, by continuing to give its support to young Rwandan football stars. Building up on the theme for last year “Everything for Football”, Copa Coca-Cola will continue to drive the development of grassroots football in Rwanda.
“Our ambition for Copa Coca-Cola is to make it the biggest and most inclusive football tournament in Rwanda. Currently 480 teams all over Rwanda compete with the hopes of being a part of the 64 teams that participate at the qualifying stage.” Julius Kayoboke, Marketing Director of Bralirwa commented.
“This year we awarded certificates of participation to all the players competing at the Copa Coca-Cola District preliminary level. This is our way of acknowledging and giving more to these Rwandan youth, since they already inspire us with their dedication and passion to the game. We will visit players during their practice session at schools with our Copa heroes and our brand ambassadors, as well as continue our tradition awarding cash prizes, medals, trophies and a special award for the best player.” he added.
In Africa, the Coca-Cola COPA tournament is run in over 20 countries giving more than 50,000 young players the opportunity to display their talent. Over the years, bona fide professional stars have emerged from the tournament including Zambian national team goalkeeper Kennedy Mweene and his teammates Nathan Sinkala and StophilaSunzu; Ugandan international defender Timothy Batabaire; Nigeria FC Porto midfielder MikelAgu; Kenyan midfielder McDonald Mariga; Tanzanian striker Thomas Ulimwengu; and South African duo MandlaMasango and Happy Jele among others.
Locally, Copa Coca-Cola has crafted football talents like the goal keeper AhishakiyeHeriter, the defender Emery Bayisenge and Anchorman YannickMukunzi who now play for our National Team,-Amavubi and the local club APR FC.
Copa Coca-Cola has also supported the development of Women’s Football.As a result of playing in the tournament,the 18-year old football starlet Florence Imanizabayo, was scouted and currently plays for the Women’s Football Club of Kamonyi as well as the Rwandan Women’s National Football team.
The tournament kicks off this Sunday 30th April at INES Pitch in Musanze with subsequent games slated across the country.