Hardwicke Parochial School one step away from national final of competition headed up by Zinedine Zidane

2:12pm Friday 21st February 2014

By Ashley Loveridge

A Gloucestershire school is celebrating after reaching the regional finals of the Danone Nations Cup, the world’s biggest football tournament for 10-12 year olds and which is headed up by former World Cup winner Zinedine Zidane.

Hardwicke Parochial School successfully progressed from the county knockout rounds of the tournament and will now compete in the regional finals of the tournament, which are being held in March.

2.5m children worldwide take part in the competition each year, with 3,000 schools competing in the English leg run by the English Schools’ Football Association. Hardwicke Parochial School will be hoping they can advance to the national finals.

The South West regional finals take place on 22 March at South Glos and Stroud College. Hardwicke Parochial School will complete against eight other schools from across the South West in a bid to reach the national final that will be held at a top FA venue.

With former France and Real Madrid captain Zinedine Zidane as the international ambassador for the tournament, the Danone Nations Cup represents a once in a lifetime opportunity for young players.

The Danone Nations Cup is a unique FIFA approved tournament, which has been given the Government’s ‘Inspired by 2012’ seal of approval. It is an annual highlight in Danone’s ongoing programme of support for healthy lifestyles through education, fun and fairplay, which includes its ‘Eat Like A Champ’ healthy eating initiative.

Former Tottenham, Liverpool and England centre back John Scales, ambassador of the tournament said: “I am so proud to have so closely supported the Danone Nations Cup for almost 10 years now. "It's a truly remarkable project that brings joy to thousands of kids nationally. Being active, eating well, having fun and working hard as part of a team are fundamental pillars of influencing the many that participate.”

Charlotte Broos, CSR manager at Danone, said: “Congratulations to Hardwicke Parochial School. They have had a great tournament so far and we hope the children are enjoying this unique mix of football, friendship and fairplay.”

The England final of the Danone Nations Cup will be held before the summer at a top class FA venue. The world final, where the winners of an inter-district competition will represent England, will be held in Brazil in October, just weeks after the country hosts the FIFA World Cup.

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