Africa’s largest bottler of Coca-Cola has announced a cash and in-kind sponsorship of Philly’s Game, the longest running festive season football tournament in South Africa. The sponsorship is part of Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa’s (CCBSA) ongoing commitment to supporting and bringing about social changes in the communities in which it operates.
Established in 1992 to build social cohesion in the community of Tembisa and the Greater Ekurhuleni region, the Philly’s Games uses football as a means of bringing people together. Attracting teams from across the country, the tournament boasts the highest amount of prize money of all off-season tournaments in South Africa. CCBSA’s sponsorship of R300 000, which includes pouring rights; hydration for players, branding for the duration of the tournament as well as other promotional items will add to the spirit of the tournament which will take place from 16 – 30 December this year.
Velaphi Ratshefola, Managing Director for CCBSA explains, “CCBSA is committed to creating strong communities by promoting active lifestyles. We are proud to be associated with an event that shares these same values.”
He adds that sport is a powerful enabler – as the Philly’s Games has demonstrated since its inception: “Since its establishment, the tournament has proven highly effective in unleashing the power of multi-stakeholder partnerships. Our involvement in this year’s tournament will allow us to learn more about how we can contribute meaningfully in our communities.”
While the games are geared to entertaining and celebrating the community, they additionally empower and inspire the youth with many PSL players such as Lebohang Manyama (Black Aces) and George Maluleke (Kaizer Chiefs) recently participating. They also link to key social responsibility activities in Gauteng including HIV/AIDS awareness, education support and enterprise development. Currently, efforts are linked to a total of five homes. Beyond the homes, the Philly’s Games team continues to cultivate a healthy working relationship with a network of local schools in and around Tembisa and the greater Ekurhuleni Metro.
“The timing of the event allows us to interact with learners during a period most prevalent to alcohol and substance abuse, and shows them something different,” says Bheki Zondo Philly’s Games spokesperson. “This shows them a future of new opportunities and possibilities available to them.”
“As such, it’s rewarding to be part of a programme that encourages engagement with disenfranchised and marginalised young people in some of our country’s toughest contexts. We’re excited to be part of this annual event,” concludes Ratshefola.
The Philly’s Games kicks off at 10h00am on 16 December at the Emaseven Ground in Ivory Park and will culminate in the final game at the Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa on 30 December 2016.