11 April 2016 12:16
PPC, the leading supplier of cement in southern Africa, has joined forces with COSAFA to sponsor the region’s Under-20 championship in 2016 as they seek to develop Africa’s stars of tomorrow.
PPC pride themselves on building ‘from the ground up’ and are therefore a perfect fit for the Southern African junior championship that has seen so many star names developed into top footballers over the years.
This year’s COSAFA U20 Youth Championship will be hosted in South Africa’s North West province in December, with PPC having an option to renew their sponsorship for a further three years.
“April this year sees PPC celebrating 124 years as a truly African success story – a focussed business that reflects the strengths of its people, products and services. As we look forward to our on-going role in shaping Africa’s future we recognise that creating long-term success requires a new approach to business. The key ingredients of which include a purposeful approach to partnerships, broadening our notion of stakeholders to include key communities and redefining investment beyond project finance to include our people – both current and future employees. PPC’s involvement with COSAFA ticks all of these boxes,” explains Rob Rein, Executive: Sales and Marketing at PPC.
Rein adds that “Sport has the power to transform lives, uplift communities and shape the future of Africa’s next generation. PPC recognises the importance of this sponsorship in creating a development pipeline that will impact and uplift communities across southern Africa.”
COSAFA President Suketu Patel has commended PPC for their dedication to growing Southern African football and to helping the young stars of tomorrow shine.
“Our core business is the development of football in the region and it’s not easy to find Corporates such as PPC who share the same virtues and passion for the growth of the game in Southern Africa. We are grateful to PPC and to the North West Province for making this tournament possible and we look forward to seeing the best of our young Southern African talent on the pitch,” Patel said.
The COSAFA U20 Youth Championships have taken on many guises over the 33-year history of the tournament, but has always been a significant breeding ground for young talent in the region.
The likes of South African stars Itumeleng Khune, Lerato Chabangu, Daine Klate and Lebohang Mokoena all got their introduction to international football tournaments at this level and have gone on to forge successful careers for club and country.
The same can be said for Clifford Mulenga and Isaac Chansa (both Zambia), Tinashe Nengomasha and Onismor Bhasera (both Zimbabwe), as well as Jimmy Zakazaka (Malawi), who also used the tournament to persuade observers they had a bright future in the game.
Zambia have tended to dominate, especially in the early years, with 10 victories to their name, followed by Zimbabwe (six), defending champions South Africa (five) and Madagascar (one).
They remain the only four nations to lift the trophy and will be among the favourites again in December.
The last tournament was played in Lesotho in 2013, where South Africa defeated guest nation Kenya 2-0 in the Final.