The 2017 edition of the MILO Under 13 Champions League has been launched at a brief event which can aptly be described as spectacular.
The competition, which will see about 10,000 pupils participating in the championship across all the 10 regions of Ghana, saw several high profile personalities gracing the launch including Sports Minister Isaac Asiamah, ex- Black Stars skipper and tournament icon Stephen Appiah and Deputy Education Minister Barbara Asher Ayisi.
Speaking at the ceremony which was highlighted by the grand trophy dropping from the sky, Managing Director for Nestlé Ghana Mrs. Freda Duplan emphasized the importance of sports for families and in nation building as well as how the MILO Champions League seeks to encourage grassroots sports participation.
“Sports plays a vital role in the health and wellbeing of individuals, families and in nation building. As a brand for future champions, Nestlé Milo is proud to launch tonight with the support and endorsement of the Ministries of Youth and Sports and Education, the 4th edition of the Milo Champions League 2017 which we affectionately term the “MCL 2017”. The MCL is a football league season for basic schools in Ghana which seeks to encourage grassroots sports participation for the younger generation whiles creating the link between the importance of Sports and Education.” Mrs. Duplan said.
Minister of Youth and Sports Isaac Asiamah expressed his elation at this noble and worthwhile championship and intimated that his ministry in collaboration with government will help include girls to participate in the U-13 championship next year.
“The Ministry of Youth and Sports is happy with this remarkable U-13 Champions League put together by Nestlé Milo. We at the ministry will continue to offer our support to the project because we believe we can get future national team players from them as has been the case with players like Stephen Appiah, John Mensah and Laryea Kinston among others. We will also ask that you include girls under-13 to this championship and I’ll see to it that government supports this initiative.” Hon. Asiamah asserted.
Ex-Black Stars captain Stephen Appiah who is the Icon for the Milo Champions League disclosed that he will travel to all the four venues for the zonals competitions which will be staged Tamale, Sunyani, Takoradi and Elmina where the finals will be held. He added that he will also use the opportunity to mentor the boys and train the pupils on the basic football rudiments and imbibe in them values like Teamwork, Confidence, Respect and Focus.
Complementing the Minister of Sports’ speech, the deputy minister of Education, Hon. Barbara Asher Ayisi hailed Nestle for using its brand Milo to unearth talents in football for over 20 years and still counting.
“For the past two decades. Nestlé through its sports brand Milo has been unearthing talents in soccer through the grassroots sports platform it provides. Government, through the ministries of Education and Youth and Sports, is committed to promoting sports in our schools and is fully supportive of corporate initiative in this direction, such as the Milo Under-13 Champions League.” She said.
This Year’s Milo Champions League will be in two stages and teams from all ten regions of Ghana will be participating. The zonal competitions will comprise 12 schools (per zone) vying for the top place in their zones. Winning schools from the Zone will qualify for the National finals. A total of 10,000 pupils from 44 schools are expected to participate in the competition this year.
The will be awards for the best player, top scorer and fair play team as well as a giant trophy for the winner.