Befitting of Youth Day, South African football star Steven Pienaar backed by his sponsor PUMA, returned to his roots to host the annual Steven Pienaar Community Tournament at the Westbury Oval, an opportunity for local young aspiring footballers to showcase their skills.
This year the tournament attracted 160 teams across U8 to U20 with a Masters category available for senior players. The incentive is greater than local bragging rights, with all winning junior teams receiving medals and R100 000 for the senior tournament winners and R50 000 to the runners up. Quarterfinalists across all age groups also get a new PUMA playing kit.
Pienaar has hosted the tournament for over a decade, always at the Westbury Oval where he played as a youngster. Come the finals weekend he is always to be found on the sidelines encouraging the players to use the opportunity to display their talents. “The tournament is my pride and joy, giving youngsters the chance to do what they love the most. I believe we are on the right track effecting positive change,” said Pienaar.
With a stellar career including playing for Ajax in Holland, Borussia Dortmund in Germany as well as Sunderland, Spurs and Everton in the EPL, Pienaar has valuable advice for youngsters making their way in the beautiful game: “Football is tougher than people think, it is very competitive and demanding. So when you decide to do this, give everything. Work harder than the next player and be coachable.”
PUMA Marketing Manager Brett Bellinger commented, “PUMA is once again very proud to be associated with Steven’s Tournament. It is evident by the number of teams that enter each year just how important it is to the community. He has been a fantastic ambassador for PUMA on the local and international stage and it is fitting that we aide him in giving back.”
images Maritz Verwey