Grassroots football set for transformation
-ZIFA introduces U15 provincial leagues
MASVINGO- Football in the country is set for major transformation following the introduction of grassroots development course by FIFA in the country ZIFA vice president Omega Sibanda has said.
"ZIFA has embarked on a seven year development programme in the country that is set to change the sport's landscape with the assistance of FIFA," said Sibanda during the closing ceremony of weeklong FIFA grassroots coaching course at Victoria High School in Masvingo last Friday.
The grassroots coaching course was conducted by FIFA Instructor Ulric Mathiot from Seychelles and attended by 26 coaches from the country's ten provinces, 10 provincial chairmen and other senior coaches like Gibson Homela from Bulawayo.
"Football will never be the same after the grassroots coaching course as we deliberately decided to involve those who will mentor children from the ages of 6-12 and the chairmen from all the provinces. Go out and teach coaches to teach football knowledge to the youngsters. Grassroots is a novel idea as no one knew about this before.
"From now on one should start with grassroots football before getting a CAF A License because children are always available everywhere whether there is drought or floods there will be children at grassroots level to develop.
"This is the main reason why the provincial chairmen are here with you because from grassroots we go into junior football and this enables the participants and the chairmen to speak the same language" said Sibanda.
The participants who included eight women were taught various football skills, values to impart to children to be good citizens as well.
There were 150 children from Vurombo Primary in Mucheke who joined the participants for the course on the final day where they were taught football skills from the coaches.
"We thought we knew everything about the game of football but after this course we have discovered that we have a long way to go, there is still more to learn," said Nehemiah Shayanowako deputy head for Vurombo who had accompanied the children for the closing ceremony.
Rumbidzai Muyambuki Ngezi Queens assistant coach from Mashonaland West said the course was an eye opener as they learnt quite a lot.
"The week long course was quite fruitful as it opened our eyes on various things in football like leadership, values and skills as well," said Muyambuki.
Mathiot said the FIFA bankrolled course will be a yearly event so that there is continuity in the development of the game.
Meanwhile the ZIFA second strongman announced that beginning this season the mother body has set aside $50 000 sponsorship package for the U15 league in all the provinces in the country.
"When the provincial leagues start this year which is very soon there will also be a league for the U15 as well and the sponsorship is already there, as for the U17 they will start next year because we are behind as the PSL season has already begun," said Sibanda.
Patrick Mandizha Midlands, Patrick Chamuka Manicaland, 'Spencer Banda Mash West, Mervis Munyoro Harare, Sayso Zhou Mat South, Steve Chikodzi Harare, Sterny Dube Mat South, Patrick Sunguro, Mash West, Violet Jubane Midlands, Frank Mudenda Mat North, Rejoice Moyo Midlands, Joice Lapota Harare, Khotso Nyati Bulawayo, Fidelis P Mautsahuru and Mugove Makanyire Masvingo.
From Mat North as well there was Tafi Negasha, Sabina Shumba Bulawayo, Annie Sakuringwa Mash central, Festus Dumbu Masvingo, Peter Muteyo Mash East, Irene Mwanza Mat North, Hazvineyi Nherera Mash East, Wilson Chinosengwa Masvingo, Ali Baba Dube Bulawayo and Actmore Chatyoka Mash Central.
ZIFA board member responsible for competitions and former Eastern Region chairman, Piraishe Mabhena, Women Soccer vice chairlady Ms Silengang, Eastern Region secretary Wisdom Simba and new ZIFA technical director Wilson Mutekede also attended the closing ceremony.
Chairmen from other provinces who manged to attend were Brian Chishanga from the Midlands, Matebeleland North-Denis Tshuma, Matebeleland South-Nkosinati Ncube, Mashonaland central-Gilbert Saika, Mashonaland East-David Mpuli, Robert Tembo from Harare, Mr Tuta from Bulawayo, Kuziva Nyabeze from Manicaland and the host Nabioth Magwizi.
Nkulumani Mlambo (0772 118 533/0715 505353)