FIFA U-20 takes football to dizzying new heights

Auckland’s Sky Tower was the star of the show as New Zealand celebrated one-month to the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2015.

Two of New Zealand’s promising U-20 football players took training to dizzying new heights today (01.05.2015) playing one of the highest games of keepy-uppy the world has possibly ever seen.

The stunt was performed by footballers Deklan Wynne and Clayton Lewis, an electrifying 192 metres above the ground on the SkyWalk platform of Auckland’s Sky Tower, on one of the most prominent landmarks of New Zealand’s largest city. 

Auckland’s Sky Tower

At 328 metres, the Sky Tower is the tallest man-made structure in New Zealand and plays host to two of Auckland’s most epic tourism adventures.

The SkyWalk takes thrill seekers on a spectacular walk around a 1.2 metre platform, treating them to panoramic views of Auckland - New Zealand's 'City of Sails' and the surrounding gulf and sparkling harbours.

The SkyWalk also offers one of the most memorable history lessons in the world as passionate guides point out Auckland’s famous volcanic landmarks and attractions, giving walkers an insight into the stories and culture that have shaped this ever-growing city.

Those keen to experience a truly iconic New Zealand adventure can hurtle themselves from the Sky Tower with a SkyJump. The SkyJump sees adventure-lovers base-jump 192 metres, flying at speeds of up to 85kph before reaching land, something Lewis discovered after he ‘dropped the ball’ during the game of keepy-uppy and had the pleasure of the making the leap of faith.

Deklan was also stunned by the breathtaking views of the city. "It was a once in a life-time opportunity [to do to do the aerial keepy uppy]," Deklan said. "Just to look down and see the city and you're almost 200 metres in the air. It’s unreal."

His competitor Clayton was equally excited and said he can't wait to showcase New Zealand to the world during the tournament.

Ready to welcome the world

Today’s spectacular stunt also heralds the start of other football related activities taking place in the build-up to the tournament, played out in host cities across New Zealand from 30 May – 20 June 2015.

A pre-tournament starts at Auckland's North Harbour Stadium this Sunday (03.05.2015) and sees New Zealand take on fierce trans-Tasman foes Australia.  New Zealand is also eagerly anticipating the arrival of Prince Harry, with the British Royal confirmed to put his best foot forward in an exhibition match with local football playing youth in Auckland’s The Cloud.

Auckland Mayor Len Brown says the city is more than ready to welcome the world during the second largest men’s event in the FIFA stable behind the Senior World Cup.

“We have an established track record and global reputation for holding well-run, exciting major events with a warm welcome for international participants and visitors, and the FIFA U-20 World Cup will be no exception,” Brown said. 

About the FIFA U-20 World Cup

Whangarei, Auckland, Hamilton, New Plymouth and Wellington in the North Island will host games, while Christchurch and Dunedin will represent the sport-loving South Island. The tournament itself brings 24 international teams to New Zealand, with football powerhouses like Brazil, Germany, Argentina, Uruguay and Mexico all taking part.

A total of 52 matches will be played, with the tournament kicking-off and coming to its conclusion in Auckland. Not only does the FIFA U-20 World Cup give football fans the chance to see some of the rising-stars of the world game in action, it also gives visitors a chance to explore the rich and diverse landscapes of New Zealand during one of the most exciting sporting competitions in the world.