The Engen Knockout Challenge is right back where it
belongs…on the pitch!
With Covid-19 forcing South Africa’s preeminent youth football tournament to be
held virtually in 2020 – and super successfully at that – South Africa’s next
generation of female and male football stars are champing at the bit to show local and
international football scouts just what they can do when they step over the white
wash with a ball at their feet.
The 2021 Engen Knockout Challenge (EKOC), encompassing both male and female
tournaments,will take place at three venues – Cape Town (Wanderers FC) and
Durban (Moses Mabhida) both from 24-26 September, and Johannesburg (Marks
Park) from 1-3 October.
Legendary Engen Knockout Challenge Ambassadors – Amanda Dlamini, Lebo
Motseli, Reneilwe “Yeye” Letsolonyane, Stanton Fredericks, Duncan Crowie,
George Maluleka and Thabiso Mosia -will grace this year’s tournaments, providing
motivation to the players and coaches and sharing their deep insights on what it takes
to get to the very top of the ‘Beautiful Game’.
Following strict Covid-19 health and safety protocols, the 2021 EKOC will bring the
themes and learnings of the 2020 virtual engagements – Coach the Coach
Masterclasses, Locker Room Talks and Off the Pitch Challenges – onto the football
Engen’s Brand and Sponsorship Manager, Bulela Mkandawire says South Africa’s
high youth unemployment means our young people need as much support and
encouragement as possible.
“The EKOC is far more than just a soccer tournament as it helps our female and male
youth stay motivated and ensures they develop the skills to create and take advantage
of opportunities where possible.”
Widely regarded as one of the most prestigious youth football tournaments in the
country, the EKOC has since inception in 2003 provided many aspiring professional
football players with a stage to showcase their skills to a wide audience.
Coaches and scouts from both local and foreign professional clubs regularly attend
the regional tournaments in search of the next young South African football star, with
more than 150 players snapped up by professional clubs during this time, many going
on to play for Bafana Bafana.
With the Covid-19 pandemic amplifying the harsh socio-economic realities faced by
many South Africans, amongst the many hardships, is the lack of adequate
recreational facilities in lower-income areas.
“At Engen we understand the impact of not harnessing the energy of young people in
productive and engaging ways, which is something that can have long-term
consequences for families, communities, and the country. The EKOC is therefore our
way of giving back and playing our part to empower, support, and engage young
people productively and meaningfully.”
With the Cape Town and Durban legs set to kick off on Heritage Day, Engen is
proud to host an initiative that serves a sport that is a vehicle for pride, patriotism and
“Soccer is not just a sport; it is also a powerful development tool, social connector,
and part of a collective DNA which unites South Africans across race and class. We
know that the game isn’t the same without the energy and support of spectators;
family and friends – however in order to comply with COVID protocols this year we
will need to play without spectators, please do keep an eye out on our social media
channels, etv and Viacom channels – BET and MTV Base. We will also talk about EKOC and COC on Radio; also look out for Digital Out of Home messaging SafetyFirst, ” concludes Mkandawire
The dates for the Engen Knockout Challenge are as follows:
JHB Mark’s Park 1 –3 October 2021
Cape Town Wanderers FC 24-26 September
Durban Moses Mabhida 24-26 September
Engen Champ of Champs
JHB Mark’s Park 7-9 October