Cape Town — KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sport, Arts and Culture have struck it rich with LaLiga, one of the world's foremost football leagues.
The Spanish organisation, which is home to two of the world's most popular clubs – Barcelona and Real Madrid, have concluded an historic football development partnership for a project over the next 12 months. In the past seven years, LaLiga have embarked on more than 600 projects around the world.
The year-long programme will see two LaLiga Camps organised for the first time in KwaZulu-Natal, attended by up to 150 talented Under-10 to Under-18 boys and girls footballers. Fifty of the province’s leading amateur and professional coaches will be invited to participate in the LaLiga camps.
Over the next year, LaLiga executives will conduct a series of talks and webinars to promote the league’s values and impart its administrative skills to local officials.
A big bonus for LaLiga fans in the province will be two watch parties to bring fans closer to the game and enjoy a live game.
LaLiga's strong sense of community will provide for an additional 50 spots to ensure players from different disadvantaged backgrounds are allowed to participate in the world-class coaching camps.
As has been the case at LaLiga Camps held in Johannesburg and Cape Town, LaLiga will bring top Uefa Pro Licenced coaches from Spain to KwaZulu-Natal to conduct the camp. LaLiga will also provide kit and technical equipment for the coaches and players, who will all receive a coveted LaLiga Diploma after the completion of the camps.
The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Government will supply the facilities needed for the camps, supply five local coaches to work with the LaLiga coaches and most importantly identify the deserving and talented kids and coaches that will participate in the LaLiga Camps.
The programme will also promote social cohesion and convey LaLiga’s positive values to society through football.
Acting Deputy Director General in the KZN Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, Dr Thobile Sifunda, who was speaking on behalf of MEC Amanda Bani-Mapena, said the partnership with LaLiga will help to position football to contribute to the economy.
“Football is not only a sport but a universal driver of the economy. It is therefore important to partner with brands with a global footprint like LaLiga to learn from best practices from a flourishing league," said Sifunda. "Furthermore, we are all aware of the developmental initiatives contributing towards LaLiga being able to produce the world’s leading footballers.
"We would like our boys and girls to aspire to play in the top leagues of the world.”
LaLiga Southern Africa Managing Director, Marcos Pelegrin, is a well-known figure in the region since he has rolled out several projects over the past few years. He was pleased to secure a partnership with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sports.
“This is a ground-breaking partnership for LaLiga with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Sports, Arts and Culture, in one of South Africa’s most passionate football and sport regions," said Pelegrin.
“This agreement allows LaLiga to extend its support for football development even further across the country, as we look to reach every corner of the country with LaLiga’s football and educational philosophy.
"We cannot wait to get started with this programme in the Zulu Kingdom and would like to thank the Department of Sports, Art and Culture for their belief and confidence in LaLiga in partnering with us in supporting the growth and development of football in the region.”