'Joga Bonito' goes national

After launching its Joga Bonito football campaign on Robben Island in February, Nike is rolling out a series of 3-on-3 tournaments for school boys and girls, called 'Joga 3', in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town in May this year.

School children between the ages of 14 and 18 are currently being recruited from 200 schools in these three cities and will compete at their nearest community centre in a knockout tournament, where the best teams will advance to the regional finals.

The regional finals will be held at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Westville, on Saturday, May 20, Cape Peninsula University of Technology on Sunday, May 28, and Gallagher Estate in Johannesburg on Saturday, June 3. The winning team from each of the regional finals will win R15,000 in cash, plus R25,000 worth of Nike football products for their school.

The regional winners will play in the 'Joga 3' Final at Gallagher Estate on Saturday, June 3 and the winning team will receive a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to watch Manchester United in action at Old Trafford later this year.

Members of the public of all ages will also be able to participate in 'Joga 3' at a shopping centre near them - where they stand the chance of winning fantastic Nike prizes. The action will take place at the Pavillion Shopping Centre in Durban and at Canal Walk in Cape Town on Saturday, June 10, and at the Southgate Shopping Centre in Johannesburg on Saturday, June 24.

'Joga 3' will see teams of three competing against each other for three minutes, using a futsal ball. The futsal is smaller and harder than a traditional football. It bounces less, and takes a fair amount of skill to master. Teams are encouraged to use these skills to out-manoeuvre opponents, as opposed to taking long shots on goal.

'Joga Bonito' is a Brazilian expression, meaning 'Play Beautiful'. The phrase is Nike's key message for its 2006 Football campaign, which launched around the world earlier this year. Eric Cantona is the main spokesperson for the campaign, assisted by football stars Thierry Henry, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Ronaldo. Cantona and his football peers calls on players around the world to take a stand against cheating, egotism and racism, and to play the beautiful game, beautifully.

View Cantona's video messages and commentary on

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