All Set for Newspaper Cup

THE 14th edition of The Namibian Newspaper Cup is expected to be another action-packed spectacle, encompassing fun, games and growth.

That is the prediction of the organisers of the country’s premier youth football competition, who launched the event in Windhoek on Tuesday.

The tournament is scheduled to take place from 18 to 21 April at the historic Oscar Norich Stadium in Tsumeb.

“This is really a fun event aimed at the young people of our country and not only those playing but every young person,” said the editor of The Namibian Tangeni Amupadhi, who believes the event transcends the realms of football.

“One of the aims of the tournament is to keep youngsters engaged. We have serious problems facing our youth. Recently, reports were published [claiming] that our youngsters are drinking a lot and abusing other drugs. An event like this, we hope, takes young people away from these harmful activities,” he said.

“We probably take some of these things for granted. When you get people from all over the country together for an event like this, it’s a way to unite people.”

Deputy Sports Minister Julieta Kavetuna commended The Namibian for providing the country’s youth with a platform to develop.

“This championship is designed to motivate and encourage all our young people to participate in sport at the developmental level, thus continuing an attitude and inspiration of a healthy and winning nation,” she said.

“By doing this, we aim at providing all our youths at local level with access to participation in sport and attain their personal best as athletes.

“Our expectation, is that all the participants will give their best to compete honestly and enjoy themselves, make friends and learn other languages and cultures of our beautiful country,” Kavetuna said.

ADDED SUPPORT

The tournament’s sponsorship has grossed over N$1 million for each edition since 2010 and with the added endorsements from Ohorongo Cement, Dundee Precious Metals and the Government for this year, it has become even more lucrative.

With the added partners, the organisers were able to increase in the prize money for the winners, who will now collect N$30 000 instead of N$20 000, while the runners-up will receive N$15 000, which represents a N$5 000 hike from last year’s prize.

The team in third will take home N$10 000 up from N$6 000 and the fourth-placed team gets a N$6 000 prize, up from last year’s N$4 000.

Another improved incentive is that of the Man of the Match prize, which goes up 100% from N$250 to N$500.

“Without the added assistance from the Government, Ohorongo and Dundee we would not have been able to increase prizes this year. Their support has really gone a long way in lessening the burden on The Namibian who have been with us on this long and beautiful journey,” said Barry Rukoro, the secretary general of the Namibia Football Association.

“While it’s not all about the prize money, we have to acknowledge that a lot of effort goes into preparing the teams to compete in the tournament so they also need to be rewarded for their efforts,” he said.

“I urge all the Governors to help their teams in whatever way, be it with kit or pocket money because whatever success they bring is for the whole region and that is something that must be nurtured,” Kavetuna added.

In total, 28 matches will be played, including two exhibition matches involving the Brave Gladiators against a yet to be confirmed rival, while the Brave Warriors will take on the Shadow Team, a selection of the most outstanding players from the tournament.

Defending champions Otjozondjupa have been drawn to face Hardap in their Group C opener, while the hosts Oshikoto will face Omaheke in a Group A fixture.

The Kunene and Zambezi regions will contest the first match of the tournament on 18 April, followed by Erongo versus Karas, Hardap against Omusati, while Khomas play Oshana and Kavango takes on Ohangwena.

Source : The Namibian