It is this time of year again. Just as the Olympics unites sports fans every two years; just as the Football World Cup enthuses millions of football addicts all over the world every four years, the Danone Nations Cup (DNC) brings together the children who love football… every year.
In 2013, the Danone Nations Cup hosts its 14th edition in 32 countries, for over 2.5 million children aged 10 to 12 years old.
This year, as every year, 32 national tournaments will thus be held in each participating country. And in September, the world final will gather the best teams together in London at the legendary Wembley Stadium, when 400 young football players will do their best to win the DNC, in front of over 40 000 spectators.
An annual event… that is quite unique
The Danone Nations Cup is a truly special event in many respects. First of all, it is the biggest international football competition for children of this age category, and its presence in over 30 countries makes it accessible to kids from all backgrounds and cultures. Getting them together at local, national and international level is quite a challenge, which relies on shared love for a sport and its values. Incidentally, the positive values of sport and football are a major part of the message conveyed to children through the DNC. As the presentation video of the 2013 edition shows, “fair play” is a key concept here, along with learning to live with others – and competitiveness, too.
As Zinedine Zidane, international ambassador of the DNC, puts it:
I believe fair play is a fundamental and central value in sport and in football particularly. It’s very important to me. It’s crucial for the Danone Nations Cup to support and promote that approach, because fair play is something you take on board at a very young age.
In other words, there is no sports competition without the will to win… and without fair play. They walk hand in hand. And the DNC intends to foster that spirit among the children.
There is one more thing that makes it unique: the attention paid to health and nutrition. During the international final, the children will not only spend four days competing to reach the upper step of the podium, but will also participate in a range of activities and games about how healthy nutrition is a key ally to a winning champion. There is another value attached to sport: taking care of your own body and preserving it so it can take you to the top. So let’s make a date for September 7th to find out who the winning teams are!
(Photo from: www.danonenationscup.com)