- Youth teams that win their regional tournaments will earn a chance to play in the national final, to be held at the Ester Roa Stadium on November 24. The boys’ and girls’ teams that win the 2019 championship will travel to Italy with tournament ambassador Iván Zamorano, where they will play a match against Inter Milan.
- Attendees at the opening, held at the Ester Roa Stadium, included Francisco Prieto, Gabriel Mendoza, Francisco Rojas, Marcelo Vega, Leonel Herrera, and Manuel Neira for Colo Colo, while the athletes from Biobío Region playing in the match included: Carlos Chandía, Jorge Torres, Richard Zambrano, Darwin Pérez, Héctor Mancilla, and Leo Gajardo.
Concepción, October 4, 2019 – Chile’s number one youth soccer championship has come of age, and is returning once again to Biobío, where it will continue to support the region’s young sportspeople. The event was celebrated with a friendly match between former stars of the Colo Colo team and athletes from Biobío Region.
The friendly match and opening of the 2019 Copa Enel in Biobío Region were held at Ester Roa Municipal Stadium, a sports center that over the next two months will be the site where the 24 local boys’ teams and 24 local girls’ teams registered in the tournament will compete to win a place in the finals, which are to be held on November 23 at the same stadium.
The opening games of the boys’ and girls’ competitions in Biobío Region were attended by the Municipal Head of Sports, Yuri Aguallo, the executive director of the Fundación Iván Zamorano, Erika Zamorano, Biobío Regional Energy Minister Mauricio Henríquez, and the head of power plant operation and maintenance at Enel Generación Chile, Pablo Arnés, who took part in the opening of the championship and then enjoyed the friendly between the former Colo Colo stars and local sports heroes.
The stars of Colo Colo and Biobío athletes who played in the friendly match include: Francisco Prieto (goalkeeper), Pablo Contreras, Gabriel Mendoza, Francisco Rojas, Marcelo Vega, Leonel Herrera, and Manuel Neira, for Colo Colo, and Carlos Chandía (goalkeeper), Jorge Torres, Richard Zambrano, Darwin Pérez, Héctor Mancilla, and Leo Gajardo, for the local side.
This year, the tournament for children aged 13 to 15 will for the first time include games held in Calama, a city with a strong soccer pedigree and hometown of a number of major Chilean players. This consolidates the Copa Enel’s presence in four regions, running the length of Chile: Antofagasta Region, the Greater Santiago Metropolitan Region, Maule Region, and Biobío Region.
“We at Enel are proud to be able to make a contribution to the development of youth sport. The past seventeen Copa Enel tournaments have cemented the event’s position as the first step on the pathway to a professional soccer career for both male and female players, and we certainly hope to continue with it, particularly now that the tournament is coming of age and growing with each year that passes, particularly in terms of scope, with a new region joining this year - Antofagasta - thus garnering us presence in the north, south, and center of our country,” said Pablo Arnés, head of power plant operations and maintenance at Enel Generación Chile.
Copa Enel, cradle of professional athletes
Over the previous 17 annual Copa Enel tournaments, a total of more than 100,000 children have taken part, finding in this contest a platform to launch a professional sporting career.
The children who took part in previous years’ tournaments have gone on to become members of the Chilean national team, Olympic medalists, and professional players, with hundreds playing in the youth divisions of major national clubs. These sports stars include:
Spirit of Copa Enel
This tournament - created by Enel Distribución - has worked with the Fundación Iván Zamorano, Ministry of Sport, SENDA, and UNICEF to provide the company’s social support services to 33 districts where it supplies electricity in Greater Santiago.
The championship is held on 8 sports grounds that were provided with lighting by Enel as part of its Public Space Recuperation Program, which has outfitted over 170 sports grounds in Greater Santiago, part of the company’s ongoing efforts to promote sports amongst young people.