The world’s largest brand-supported grassroots football initiative, Copa Coca-Cola is hosting over 100 footballing teens from around the
world, including young players from Nigeria.
The six-day International Camp is to forge friendships and gain valuable skills both on and off the pitch.
The camp, which started since Sunday, will end Friday in Berlin, Germany.
The camp is the pinnacle of a season which has seen more than 1.3 million teens compete in over 60 countries.
The teenagers representing Nigeria are Chidiebere Chibuzo Ibe and Peter Osaze Imafidon. Ibe, a product of the Kanu/Greenspring summer camp, is a gifted attacking midfielder who has participated in several local and international youth competitions including the popular Nottingham Youth Tournament.
Imafidon who was discovered at the Shell/NNPC school competition, is a disciplined talent who has won laurels at national youth games and the recent summer vacation competition in the United Kingdom.
Now in its 27th year, Copa Coca-Cola unites football-loving teens in every continent around the world, promoting an active lifestyle and encouraging values that are the foundation of life and sportsmanship.
The two skilled teenagers from Nigeria areamong young players from 27 countries attending this year’s event, having competed through a series of
regional rounds to participate in a national championship before being selected for the global tournament.
The six-day trip to Berlin will be packed with training sessions, workshops, games, events and coaching as well as guidance from members of Germany’s 2014 FIFA World Cup™ winning football team.
The International Camp gives young players from across the world the opportunity to pursue their football dreams, make new friends from different countries and together recognize the importance of playing different roles within a team.
Highlights of the Copa Coca-Cola event will include an Opening Ceremony, training sessions with Hans Flick – Assistant Coach of the 2014 FIFA World Cup winning German national team – and daily challenges in the grounds of the prestigious Lindow Sports Academy.
The teens will have the opportunity to learn tips and tricks from other inspiring coaches and players, including 2014 FIFA World Cup winner Benedikt Höwedes and 1990 FIFA World Cup winner Pierre Littbarski.
Ahead of the tournament, a Coca-Cola commissioned study was undertaken by Nielsen Research to understand the role that football plays in young people’s lives.
The opinions of over 11,000 male and female teenagers across 16 countries were polled to reveal that football supports the learning of important life skills such as teamwork, confidence and sociability.
Eight out of ten (79 percent) young people said playing football helps them to develop essential skills in teamwork that can be applied in other areas such as school or work and over 42 percent say that playing football has helped boost their confidence. Furthermore, six out of ten (60 percent) young players consider the discipline learnt on the pitch helps them achieve more in their lives.
Copa Coca-Cola is committed in its goal to create inclusive physical activity programmes throughout the world which will inspire more young
players to be active and healthy through their shared passion for football.
As part of this commitment, Copa Coca-Cola will find one local football pitch in one of the countries attending the Camp and renovate it for future teens to enjoy. Teens attending the tournament will submit pictures and videos of a local pitch they would like to see renovated, with the winning entry announced at a special Legacy Pitch ceremony that will be held at the Berlin Olympic Stadium during the Camp.
The final day will culminate in tournament finals, a farewell dinner and the announcement of the 2016 Copa Coca-Cola ambassadors, who will continue the Copa Coca-Cola legacy in future years.
According to the Marketing Director, Coca-Cola Nigeria Limited, Patricia Jemibewon, “we are delighted to welcome over 100 teens from around the world to Berlin to celebrate their love for football. With an action-packed schedule, the teens attending, including two from Nigeria will have the opportunity to gain skills, enjoy new experiences with new friends from across the world and even meet FIFA World Cup champions in an inspiring atmosphere.
“We hope the Copa Coca-Cola International Camp will provide memories for a lifetime and inspire teens to further pursue their football passion for years to come. It is also in line with the objective of our new Billion Reasons To Believe Campaign which is to inspire and empower young people, while challenging them to believe in themselves and achieve their dreams.”