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Nestlé MILO®, the “energy drink for future champions” has collaborated with the Ghana Education Service (GES) to once again launch another edition of the MILO® Under 13 Champions’ League at an impressive ceremony in Accra. This is part of a move by the number one beverage company in Ghana to unearth, develop young talents and inspire healthier lifestyle among Ghanaian Children.
The annual tournament involves public schools across the all 16 regions of the country categorized into four zones. The team for the 2019 edition is “Team Makes Me” with special emphasis on teamwork and healthier lifestyles. It has the overall objective of discovering young talents to feed the football industry in Ghana.
In its 5th edition, the MILO® Under 13 champions’ league is part of the MILO® grassroots sports development program which has been in existence for more than 20 years. Some of the great talents that have emerged out of the tournament over the years include Michael Essien, Sulley Muntari, John Mensah, among others.
At the launch event held at the premises of the National Head Office of Nestlé Ghana in Accra, the Managing Director of the company, Philomena Tan, remarked that, “Children are the future of this country. It is therefore essential to invest in them with the right knowledge, skills and resources to position them for greatness”.
She said Nestlé is with the firm conviction that with sports development programs in schools such as the MILO® U-13 Champions League, children can be assisted to discover their talents while simultaneously cultivating a healthier lifestyle. She was grateful to the GES for the collaboration, while urging the children to take their education seriously as they participate in tournament.
The Director General of the GES, Prof. Kwasi Opoku Amankwa in a speech expressed appreciation to Nestlé Ghana for the collaboration and reiterated the Services’ commitment to continue discovering and nurturing talents through strategic partnerships.
“It is proven that playing sports reduces the chance of children dropping out of school. It helps them to grow physically and intellectually while acquiring leadership skills to aid them in their educational journey and future aspirations,” he stated.
Icon for the tournament and a former Captain of the Senior National team, the Black Stars, Stephen ‘Tornado’ Appiah, shared his excitement to be associated with the tournament and assisting children grow in football. He said this will help imbibe teamwork in them. He urged Nestlé Ghana and the GES to continue discovering new talents as it will help sustain the Ghanaian National Teams.
The MILO® U-13 Champions League is held at three major stages; district, regional, and national levels. This year, 64 schools will compete in four zones of which 16 schools will advance to the finals. Each of these 16 schools making it to the finals will represent the 16 Regions of Ghana.
According to the organizers, Zone one will have schools from the 5 Northern Regions – Northern, Upper East, Upper West, Savannah, and North East Region. Zone two will have schools from the Bono East, Ahafo, Ashanti, and Bono. Zone three, includes schools from Central, Western North, and Western, while Zone four will have schools from Accra, Volta, Eastern and Oti.
The Paa Joe Stadium at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi is expected to host the National finals of the tournament.
Some of the great sports personalities who graced launch event include former Ghanaian international stars Sam Johnson, Augustine Arhinful, Yaw Preko, Laryea Kingston, and John Paintsil among others..