Organisers of the annual COPA Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Nigeria, have increased the numbers of states and participants at this year’s edition which kicked off May 16.
States participating in the 2016 edition rose from 10 to 32 while the number of participating schools increased from 144 to over 3000. The number of matches to be played has also increased from 120 to about 3000 with the number of players participating has also increase from 2,160 to over 60,000.
Speaking on the tournament, Marketing Director, Coca-Cola Nigeria, Patricia Jemibewon, explained that, ‘It is good to know that our platform, the COPA Coca-Cola Tournament, is inspiring the next generations of football stars, both on the field and outside the field.”
Copa Coca-Cola is the largest brand-supported grassroots football tournament in the world, played in over 60 countries by 1.3 million teenage players, with the aim of inspiring young people to be active and healthy through their shared passion for the sport.
The COPA tournament which kicked off on May 16 will end with national finals taking place June 24 to June 30.
Coca-Cola Nigeria, through the COPA Coca-Cola Nigeria football tournament, each year, offers more teens the reward of learning life skills such as teamwork, confidence, and sociability.
Most Saturday mornings, on bare streets or unoccupied school fields in most areas around the country, it is not unusual to see young people pairing up to play football and when they get opportunities like the one Coca-Cola provides through its COPA Coca-Cola platform, teens thrive.
In the Coca-Cola commissioned study, Nielsen Research polled the opinions of over 11,000 male and female teenagers across 16 countries to gain a better understanding of the role football plays in the development of young people’s lives.
The research showed talent to be a key trait that 97 per cent of Nigerian teenagers admire in a famous sportsperson.
The research also showed that young people in the country who play football are happier than their non-playing peers, with a majority considering themselves happy, and 89 per cent more satisfied than their peers, just higher than the global average of 65 per cent.