How the Schools Shootout began
The Hon Angie Motshekga, the minister of Basic Education, and the Hon Fikile Mbalulu, the minister of Sport and Recreation, recently agreed on a way forward for school sport involving their departments.
Part of this agreement was that the Department of Basic Education would take responsibility for school leagues. Together, the two departments then decided that 2012 would be the year for a mass rollout of school sport in South Africa, incorporating 28 000 schools across the country.
Last December, the Department of Basic Education held a series of provincial cluster tournaments culminating in the top eight football schools in SA being identified.
SuperSport is partnering both departments in what is probably the inauguration of national schools championships for under-18 footballers.
With the tournament hosted in Gauteng, it was decided to run a Gauteng schools football festival cutting across all schools in both the advantaged and previously disadvantaged areas.
Instead of going to established football-specific venues, agreement was reached for schools with suitable facilities to host the SA Schools Shootout: Sacred Heart College and Benoni High School.
Twelve teams qualified through the cluster tournaments, while 11 additional schools will be involved by invitation of the Department of Basic Education and the SA Schools Football Association.
Apart from being an official partner of the event, SuperSport will broadcast 22 of the 42 matches live, with additional highlight programming to be broadcast.