PICK N PAY PUMPS IN E2.4M FOR EFA’S U-15S

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PICK N PAY PUMPS IN E2.4M FOR EFA’S U-15S
PICK N PAY PUMPS IN E2.4M FOR EFA’S U-15S

Africa-Press – Eswatini. GIANT retail enterprise Pick n Pay Eswatini has pumped in E2.4 million to the Eswatini Football Association (EFA), towards the Under-15 developmental programme. Dubbed the Pick n Pay/EFA Kick–Off 2022, the lucrative tournament was launched during a colourful ceremony at Hilton Garden Inn Hotel yesterday. The package reflects that annually, the giant retail outlet will pump in a whopping E807 090 for a period of three years.

An impressive 80 teams will battle it out in the first ever tournament set to run for a period of six months per season. It was revealed during the launch that the programme would target both boys and girls, to be implemented in all four regions of the country. Elaborating during the event, Pick ’n Pay Retail Executive Nuno Xavier said they were excited to partner with EFA in this worthy cause.

“We want to be the next pillar for development and give hope to the youth of this country. Early identification of talent is critical in making sure that players can then be enrolled in well-planned nurturing systems, ensuring that their rough talents are polished and refined for maximum impact when they reach the elite league levels,” he said.

Gracing Gracing the event, among others were Pick n Pay Director S’thofeni Ginindza, EFA President Peter ‘Samora’ Simelane and Minister of Sports, Culture and Youth Affairs Harries ‘Madze’ Bulunga.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Bulunga said the programme was truly a momentous occasion, and one that had the potential of proving to become a game-changer and a turning point for local football.

Bulunga said everyone in football and indeed all sporting codes had spoken feverishly about grassroots level development and yet, while recognising the need to give serious attention to this key aspect of the sport, little resources, time and energy had actually been put into it to create the desired and targeted grassroots development programmes. “The Pick n Pay and EFA partnership is exactly what our football has been missing.

It speaks directly to the need for football to create a properly-coordinated platform to discover and nurture talent among the younger generation countrywide. “I am pleased to note that this programme will run in all four regions of Eswatini, offering young Emaswati a fair chance to become the next crop of Dennis ‘Yuki’ Masina or Absalom ‘Scara’ Thindwa of this country,” he said. Minister Bulunga said the programme would move on to assist in bridging the gap that had long existed between elite league level and grassroots football.

“We are all aware that Premier League rules now require each club to have properly-functional youth teams. talent “However, due to the lack of coordinated talent identification and nurturing programmes there, from where teams could scout for and pick talent from, Premier League clubs have not been able to enjoy the benefits of a rule, whose intentions were pure and actually meant to help them in the long run.

“Perhaps, the standout feature of this programme is its equal focus on both girls and boys, ensuring that, for once, our girls are not left behind in sport development,”said Minister Bulunga, who spoke from an informed position, as he was once the national team, Sihlangu, coach after serving for a long time as Umbelebele Cosmos player.

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