Easter Tournament

THE NAFA EASTER TOURNAMENT

The Northern Areas Football Association annually hosts one of the biggest, longest running and arguably most successful amateur soccer club tournament in the country. It had small beginnings in 1973 when the President, Valentine Brink of one of its affiliates, Blackpool AFC introduced the first national inter-club tournament in Port Elizabeth after the club participated in a tournament in Durban.
The first tournament started with 16 teams (Eight national teams and eight local teams) and played on a knock-out basis, which immediately proved very popular. The first winner was D’Alberton Callies from Durban who charmed the enthusiastic crowds with their pin point passing, outstanding ball skills and neat attire. The winners prize was R300!
With record crowds for local football and rapid growth, the Eastern Province Soccer Board took over the reins and allocated the tournament to various clubs each year. Initially the responsibility of organizing of the tournament was shared between two clubs, but as the tournament grew it became too big for clubs to organize.
In 1990’s, when the Northern Areas Football Association (NAFA) took over the organization and administration of the tournament it immediately bore fruit as it received its first major sponsorship from the Delta Motor Corporation (now General Motors South Africa). And. subsequent to that, the tournament was also sponsored by Continental Tire for the period 2006 to 2010.
Overtime the tournament evolved from purely from football to a family entertainment weekend with the opening night providing musical entertainment, and reaching a climax with fireworks display. The fireworks display still remains a highlight of the Easter weekend festivities.
 
The new millennium saw a junior component added to the tournament, which was an immediate success with an increase spectator following and is now has become as integral part of the tournament.
 
In 2014 General Motors again came back as a major sponsor. This tourney still remains premier national inter-club tournament and attracts teams from the all over the country. Currently there are 24 senior teams and 40 junior teams participating, representing some 1280 players over the weekend.

In 2016, Spar EC sponsored the Tournament. 28 senior teams, 8 Under 19 teams, 6 Ladies teams and 40 juniors teams participated. A total of 1580 players.