More than 15, 000 people came together to join in the thrills and spills of the Nike Cup Kuala Lumpur 5 vs 5 Challenge 2010 Grand Finals at Dataran Merdeka today.
Everyone was treated to a carnival-like footballing atmosphere as well as a live concert feast from dusk to dawn.
A total of 360 teams from all over Malaysia locked horns with each other in their pursuit for glory. However, only one team nailed the Grand Prize which is an all-expenses paid trip to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil for the once-in-a-lifetime chance to train at Granja Comary, the Brazilian national team’s home.
Meanwhile, Penang outfits SMK Guar Perahu edged out TCK 3-1 in the final of the 14-16 age-group category to earn themselves a three-month training stint with Malaysia’s Brazilian Academy.
Popular Indonesian band, Nidji, spearheaded an array of local superstar acts and entertained the crowd with their onstage energy and persona which had their fans calling for an encore by the end of the show.
Among the local bands were acclaimed Pop Shuvit, One Buck Short, Bunkface as well as Indie music performers in the likes of Pesawat and Forty Winks.
Nike Malaysia Marketing Manager Menaha Nadaraja said Nike has always strived on building a sound platform to work on sports development by conducting numerous youth projects and that with the encouraging signs and response, they would continue with their support.
"I have been with these kids every weekend since the Nike Cup Kuala Lumpur 5 vs 5 Streets Soccer 2010 started on May 22. For young people, sport, play and exercise are vital for optimal growth and learning, and social development. It communicates key messages, bring diverse groups together and teach valuable life skills in a way that is fun and participatory.
“Nike strives to be a leader in the field of sports by transforming the lives of young people.The opportunity to play and train in the Mecca of football – that is Brazil – is one of the dreams for any footballer. So you can imagine how it will touch and light up the life of budding footballer, as the young ones we see here before us.”
“Nike is committed to transforming dreams into reality, and this event is one of the models with which we do that,” said Menaha.
Malaysian national football team chief coach K. Rajagopal praised Nike for the continued contribution towards the country’s development in sports and singled out the brand as example-setters.
“Nike has always shown support for sports in this country from grassroots to the top level. With tourneys such as this Nike Cup, they give youths something to look forward to.
“We have the talents in this country but what we lack is developing these uncut diamonds into true treasures. What Nike has been doing is great and I hope they will continue to help with the country’s sports development with projects like this,” said Rajagopal.