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Pictured are: Soccer stars Siphiwe Tshabalala; Ronwen Williams; Andile Dlamini and Phil Mogodi, president of SAFA Johannesburg
Pictured are: Soccer stars Siphiwe Tshabalala; Ronwen Williams; Andile Dlamini and Phil Mogodi, president of SAFA Johannesburg

Press release -

The 18th Discovery Walter Sisulu Soccer Challenge: Soweto’s finest football tournament

Key announcements:

  • The 18thedition of the Discovery Walter Sisulu Soccer Challenge will take place from
  • 8-29 December 2021.
  • Only vaccinated individuals permitted.
  • Team registrations close 30 November 2021.

Discovery and the South African Football Association (SAFA) have partnered once again for the Discovery Walter Sisulu Soccer Challenge. Hosted at Soweto’s newly renovated Nike Football Training Centre, recently renamed Shapa Soweto, the grassroots diski tournament will be a feisty football affair. It will ignite the beautiful game in our treasured SA township, and despite the limited number of spectators allowed, will be loud and proud. Open to local U17’s as well as Senior Men and Women’s teams, and all necessary COVID-19 protocols in place, the tournament will awaken Soweto’s soccer giants come 8 December 2021.

Established in 2002, the 120-team football tournament is an example of the use of sport for good, so says Head of Vitality Wellness at Discovery Vitality, Dr Mosima Mabunda. “Events such as these are part of Vitality’s global pledge to make 100 million people 20% more active by 2025,” she says.

“Early in 2020, we were forced to pause sport: clear the pitches and abandon the goalposts. Two years on and we’re ready to bring this fabulous football festival back to the people of Soweto – but, with one caveat – all spectators will need to be vaccinated,” says Dr Mabunda.

“Live sport provides a vehicle through which we can encourage vaccination and further reaffirms Discovery’s purpose of being a force for social good as we strive for team sports once more. For this reason, the 2021 tournament edition will be as important off the field as on, in the endeavour to fully vaccinate our Rainbow Nation,” she says.

Phil Mogodi, president of SAFA Johannesburg (Soweto Local Football Association), encourages vaccinated fans to join the event, which boasts the cream of SA soccer talent, including Sibusiso Vilakazi, Percy Tau, Keagan Dolly and Lyle Foster. He says it is Discovery’s long-lasting partnership with the LFA that has ensured the tournament continues to thrive.

“We’re both grateful and excited that this tournament will go ahead. In terms of a players footballing journey, the three week round robin tournament provides each player with a once in a lifetime experience – you can literally see the growth of a player from the starting whistle to the final handshakes. On a personal level, I cannot wait to get started: The people of Soweto are hungry to get going once more and play with passion and pride for sure!”

Discovery, SAFA and the Soweto LFA kindly request all participants, spectators and media to be vaccinated in order to be part of and attend the 2021 Discovery Walter Sisulu Soccer Challenge. As a direct voice and link to our South African communities, we believe there is a clear moral and social obligation to pursue this.

Team registrations close 30 November 2021. Entry is free, provided each individual is vaccinated.

/ ENDS /

Written for and on behalf of Discovery by Caroline Malan – The PR Machine – caroline@theprmachine.co.za.

For media queries: Caroline Malan – caroline@theprmachine.co.za

For tournament queries:

Event details:

Name: Discovery Walter Sisulu Soccer Challenge

Dates: 8 – 29 December 2021

Venue: Shapa Soweto, formerly known as The Nike Football Centre in Klipspruit, Soweto

Format: Round robin, knock out stages from quarter finals

Teams: Open Men Category: 34 teams | Women Category: 12 teams | u17’s Category: 24 teams

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Discovery information

About Discovery

Discovery Limited is a South African-founded financial services organisation that operates in the healthcare, life assurance, short-term insurance, savings and investment and wellness markets. Since inception in 1992, Discovery has been guided by a clear core purpose – to make people healthier and to enhance and protect their lives. This has manifested in its globally recognised Vitality Shared-Value insurance model, active in 31 markets with over 20 million members. The model is exported and scaled through the Global Vitality Network, an alliance of some of the largest insurers across key markets including AIA (Asia), Ping An (China), Generali (Europe), Sumitomo (Japan), John Hancock (US), Manulife (Canada), among others. Discovery trades on the Johannesburg Securities Exchange as DSY.

Follow us on Twitter @Discovery_SA

About the Discovery Walter Sisulu Soccer Challenge:

The Discovery Walter Sisulu Soccer Challenge plays an important role in developing and growing soccer players within the Soweto community. The tournament encourages members of the community to lead healthier, more active lives. The tournament started in 2002 and has been able to grow year on year, in exposure and player participation. The tournament was put on hold in 2019 and 2020 due to strict COVID-19 restrictions: Discovery and SAFA agreed that the health and safety of players, the community, the fans and organizers is always of the upmost importance.


Press contacts

Munene Khoza

Press contact Senior Reputation Manager Vitality & Wellness

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