Schools get cup fever

The Department of Education has launched a 2010 World Cup tournament for schools to mobilise support for the quadrennial event.

The Department of Education has launched a 2010 World Cup tournament for schools to mobilise support for the quadrennial event.

The tournament was launched by Naledi Pandor, the minister of education, at the Moletsane sports grounds in Soweto on Saturday.

Pandor's department has formed a partnership with the Department of Sport and Recreation and the 2010 Local Organising Committee.

The competition will cater for four categories - Under-14 boys and girls as well as Under-18 boys and girls. The aim is to educate the school children about the World Cup.

Pandor said they will mobilise and educate pupils from the country's 30000 schools on the importance of the tournament.

She said the aim is to promote mass participation of pupils around the legacy themes of the World Cup, using education, music, arts, cultural activities and soccer.

The campaign would be rolled out in two phases, with the first involving the country's school pupils assuming the identities of the 2009 Confederations Cup teams.

Pandor said the tournament will take place from March 14 to 28 in the five South African Confederations Cup host cities, namely Tshwane, Johannesburg, Rustenburg, Mangaung and Port Elizabeth.

The eight-nation Confederations Cup will feature eight champions from the Fifa confederations, including the hosts Bafana Bafana and reigning World Cup kings Italy.

The second phase of this educational tournament, which will involve about 12 million school children, will see the pupils writing essays about competing countries.

Phil Mogodi, Safa Soweto president, said: "It is good for our children to learn about the importance of the Confederations Cup and World Cup.

"The campaign will also help to generate more interest among our children in soccer."

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