Western Cape Team to participate in Weifang Cup International Youth Tournament
A Western Cape invitation football team, selected from this year’s Metropolitan U/19 Premier Cup, will compete in the Weifang Cup International Youth Tournament to be held from 27 July to 2 August 2014 in Weifang, China. The invitation forms part of a sports development partnership between the Western Cape and Shandong Province in China.
The Metropolitan U/19 Premier Cup, also known as the Bayhill Cup, was held in Belhar, Cape Town from 16 to 21 April. A total of 31 professional and amateur teams from across the country took part. Ajax Cape Town won the tournament after beating Mamelodi Sundowns 1–0 in the final.
Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport Dr Ivan Meyer thanked key sponsor Metropolitan and the organisers of the Bayhill Cup for partnering with the Western Cape Government to make the tournament possible. Dr Meyer said, “Players, we are committed to creating opportunities for you. I have just announced another great opportunity… embrace it!”
In 2012, a delegation from Shandong Province visited the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) in Cape Town to discuss the possibility of a mutually beneficial sports development partnership. At that time, DCAS identified four areas where the Western Cape could learn from Shandong: sport academies and focus schools; coaching and training; talent identification programmes; and sports facilities. Work has started on improving sport through the design and implementation of high performance systems.
Cheslin Carollisen, a left back from the victorious Ajax Cape Town team, said it was an honour to have been selected in the invitation side. “The hard work paid off. My family will be so proud of me now to hear that I’ll be traveling to China and make the Western Cape even more proud". Mutually beneficial partnerships such as these provide valuable opportunities for athletes to develop their skills and compete on the international stage.