NEWS SPORTS

Soweto’s Number 1 diski challenge returns

THE 19TH edition of the well-liked Discovery Walter Sisulu Soccer Challenge has been launched and teams are eager to go at each other.

Shapa –formerly Nike-Stadium in Soweto, will be the host venue, kicking off from December 1 to 23.

104 teams have registered and the draw was held in Sandton on Wednesdy, but a call has been made to female clubs throughout the country to partake.

The tourney makes its return after a 2 year hiatus due to the pandemic.

WSSC is celebrated for having produced top stars namely Sphiwe Tshabalala and Andile Dlamini, who both attended the launch.

“The impact of this tournament extends far beyond the football fields.

     “Participating in a tournament of this nature is unquantifiable and an absolute essential to any serious footballer in my opinion. It’s an important part of a players journey – growing in leaps and bounds, players are more mature, skilled, motivated and determined on the other side of this tournament,” says Phil Mogodi, SAFA Johannesburg President.

The tournament allows scores of participants, young and old to compete on the pitch.

“This grassroots diski tournament was established in 2002, and strategically aligns with Discovery’s core purpose of making people healthier, enhancing, and protecting their lives,” says Deon Curtis, Senior Marketing Manager for Sponsorships Marketing at Discovery.

“After a pause in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions, the tournament returned last year, and although there were some challenges; the Omicron Variant and rising number of cases then, it was a success. We are excited that this year will also go ahead and expect minimal to no disruptions, but for the games to get going in a safe space for everyone, considering that the pandemic is still with us,” says Curtis.

“Discovery continues to invest in school sports and soccer at grassroots levels and this tournament also proves that communities can get active in the most accessible way, making exercise fun and engaging,” he adds.

SuperSport FC headcoach Gavin Hunt agrees that SA football is all about flair and shibobos, but he cautioned that it will not take us to the World Cup or make us compete against the best globally.

“Yes, its our culture to dribble et al but we need a cohesive system that will be implemented from the grassroots, right up to the top, and tournaments such as the WSSD provides that platform. The game of football keeps evolving and we need to keep up with that pace or we’re doomed,” he said worryingly.

Soccer lovers are encouraged to come in large numbers since its FREE ENTRANCE!

Image Backpage Media (From left Deon Curtis, Gavin Hunt, Phil Mogodi, Andile Dlamini, Siphiwe Tshabalala at the draw held in Sandton on Wednesday).

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