2008 marks another significant moment in the history of this prestigious event as the tournament series extends its footprint into a sixth region, namely the North West province. This year will also see the introduction of a new tournament format, which has been adopted across all Engen Knock Out Challenge regions. This change sees the 16 participating teams compete on equal footing by way of playing an equal number of games. It is for this reason that the total number of games has increased from the initial 38 to 48 games.
As in past years and in keeping with Engen's belief of acknowledging outstanding performance, each regional tournament will also reward the best goalkeeper, best striker, best midfielder, best defender, the Coach of the Tournament and an overall “fair play” award for a team. These awards will be determined by National Selector and Western Cape 2010 Ambassador, Duncan Crowie, with the assistance of regional selectors.
“Sport is considered to be a socio-cultural product; reflecting the values and norms of the bigger society and can often be seen as a microcosm of the particular society in which it is played. It is for the above mentioned reason, that we at Bayview Sports Club and as the Tournament Hosts congratulate and applaud Engen in their contribution to the Nation, where a sport, like soccer is used a platform for young talent to show off their skill and possibly be provided with an opportunity at a Professional Soccer Club,” said Alfred Newman, Tournament Director of Engen Knock Out Challenge in Durban.
“I can hardly believe it is Engen Knock Out Challenge time again. The Free State seem to constantly produce and develop young soccer talent which would, undoubtedly, be difficult without the moral and financial support of a corporate giant like Engen. Grey College is, therefore, extremely privileged to be the hosts of this showcase of local talent for the third consecutive year,” said Ludwig Koekemoer, Tournament Director of Engen Knock Out Challenge in Bloemfontein.
Using Knock Out Challenge as a vehicle, Engen will further entrench its commitment to development of all South Africans with the continuance of the ‘Coach the Coaches' initiative and introduction of a specially designed life skills programme that utilizes soccer as a medium to communicate key societal issues.
Through Unicef's ‘Boys to Men' programme, all participating coaches and players will be invited to attend sessions with trained staff that address key societal topics such as breaking barriers of discrimination, bringing countries together during times of conflict and crisis, and uniting communities across the globe. The programme will also introduce players and coaches to the FIFA Fair Play Code.
“At Engen, we believe in the development of all South Africans and we are extremely proud to be able to contribute through the Engen Knock Out Challenge, specifically through exciting initiatives such as ‘Coach the Coaches' and the ‘Boys to Men' programme,” said Brad Bergh, Corporate Sponsorships Manager at Engen.
As per tradition and as Engen's designated beneficiary across all sport sponsorships, the Red Cross Children's Hospital Trust will also benefit from the Knock Out Challenge through various concentrated fundraising and awareness activities. At the Cape Town tournament, the fundraising efforts extends further as Engen donates R500 for every goal scored or spectacular save made by members of the Engen Santos U17 team, as part of the ongoing Engen Santos ‘Goals for Charity' campaign. Last year, the Engen Santos U17 team contributed R 3 700 towards the campaign. Engen has so far donated more than R 400,000 towards the Red Cross Children's Hospital Trust, with the ultimate goal to raise in excess of R 1 million by the year 2010.
“As we host the Engen Knockout Cup for the second year we are honoured and privileged to be able to make a further contribution to football development in South Africa. For us we see it as an opportunity to showcase what South African young footballers have to offer and what we as a club can do in the development of SA youth. For years we as Bidvest Wits have been developing the finest of young talent. We have no doubt that the tournament will serve to further strengthen the country's foundation in terms of young football talent up to 2010 and beyond,” said Dennis Tshabalala, Tournament Director of Engen Knock Out Challenge in Johannesburg.
Engen continues to fuel the passion of football fans as this year's Knock Out Challenge promises not only the best in U17's football action but also more opportunities to win. In order to be in the running for some great prizes, fans must enter the Engen Knock Out Challenge sms competition appearing in Kick Off magazine and Soccer Laduma, and claim prizes at a tournament in their area. Existing prize winners that attend the final day of each regional tournament are even further rewarded as their names receive automatic entry to win the Grand Prize of a 4GB Apple Nano iPod and a state-of-the-art Sinotech Micro HIFI/ DVD/USB/iPod Docking System.
Log on to www.engenkoc.co.za for more interesting statistics, news, results, tournament and competition information of the 2008 Engen Knock Out Challenge.
|Catch the best of Under 17's Football Action as the Engen Knock Out Challenge tournament visits an area near you:|
|Durban||20 - 22 June||Highbury Sports Field, Cnr Quality & Tara Road|
|Port Elizabeth||27 - 29 June||Wolfson Stadium, Kwazakhele|
|Bloemfontein||5 - 6 July||Grey College, Jock Meiring Street|
|Johannesburg||11- 13 July||Marks Park, Circle Street|
|Rustenburg||18 - 20 July||Olympia Stadium, near Sun City|
|Cape Town||26 - 27 July||Stephen Reagon Sport Ground, Mitchell's Plain|