The Coca-Cola Company officially opens the 2017 Copa Coca-Cola National Tournament on Thursday March 9. This is an annual series of games that inspire youth to hone their abilities, learn the positives of teamwork and, for a gifted few, even prepare for a career in football. Copa Coca-Cola is one of the world’s largest brand-supported, youth football programs to date. The National Tournament will run for the next several months.
This year CopaCoca-Cola officially opened by bringing together sports journalists, experts, former and current national football team players from around the country to engage in a panel discussion called the “The Ethiopian COPA Experience and Beyond…”. This panel discussion has been instrumental in opening discussions on how to grow the Ethiopian football industry over the years. Scientific figures and data were presented highlighting the status of the sport nationally. Experts in the area have stressed that programs like the CopaCoca-Cola strongly encourage youth to seek their athletic potential. The press conference was held after a workshop highlighting the Copa Coca-Cola 2017 itinerary.
“I wish in my teens I had the chance to be part of program like COPA which would have influenced my skills and perhaps opened doors to play internationally. It is important to invest in the youth as they carry the mantle,” said Seyoum Tesfaye, current Dedebit Club and Ethiopia National team player.
CopaCoca-Cola is a part of the “Taste the Feeling” campaign – which unites all Coke Trademark brands under one creative umbrella – that started to roll out in March 2017 around the world. The campaign raises awareness of the many reasons to remain hopeful in a challenging world. CopaCoca-Cola is held in partnership with the Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF) and the Ethiopian Youth Sports Academy and aims to create a venue where teenagers under 15 can show case their talents.