Juggling their way to China

August 3, 2007, 15:00 CEST

Pernille Ingvaldsen and Marte Øyen from Torsvik and Vinje athletic clubs respectively, met at Statoil's keepy-up competition at the Norway Cup. (Photo: Sara Johannessen/SCANPIX)

Pernille Ingvaldsen (15) became best ball juggler in Statoil's keepy-up competition. Together with her teammates from Torsvik athletic club near Bergen, she is travelling to China for the women's football World Cup.

Throughout the spring and summer, young 14 to 16-year-old ball jugglers have fought for first prize in Statoil's keepy-up competition. The decider came on Thursday 2 August at Statoil's stand at the Norway Cup in Oslo.

Ms Ingvaldsen managed to keep the ball in the air the longest, making off with first prize - a trip to the women's World Cup in China.

Here, she and her Torsvik teammates will be ambassadors for Statoil and the Football Association of Norway (NFF). Torsvik are playing a friendly against a Chinese team and are taking part in promotional activities for Statoil and Norwegian women's football.

Ms Ingvaldsen kept the ball in the air the longest, taking her team to the women's football World Cup in China. (Photo: Sara Johannessen/SCANPIX)

"Several thousand girls with incredible technical skills have participated in the competition," says Reidar Gjærum, executive vice president for communication in Statoil.

"We've caught a glimpse of many young, promising players in Norwegian women's football. These are the stars of tomorrow who will put Norway on the football map."

The keepy-up competition is part of Statoil's Stars of tomorrow campaign in which the company wishes to focus on talent and skills development in sport, culture and education.

Statoil is sponsoring the Norway Cup and one of NFF's main sponsors.