THE Orap Zenzele-Chevrolet Tournament kicks off at Gifford High School in Bulawayo this morning with 12 boys’ and four girls’ schools taking part.
BY THANDIWE MOYO
The tournament brings together schools from Bulawayo, Matabeleland North and Matabeleland South to compete for the Orap-Chevrolet Trophy which was won by Mpopoma last year.
Speaking at a Press conference at Gifford yesterday, former soccer referee Brighton Malandule, who is also Orap’s chief financial officer, said the tournament was meant to help promote sport in schools.
“We want to ensure that football grows and develops so that it also creates jobs for children,” he said.
“Sport is not a recreational facility anymore. Children can have careers through sport and we know that in Zimbabwe the most common sport is football.”
Other organisations which are part of the tournament include United States-based Super Soccer Stars, represented by Toby Tenenbaum, and Auto World, who are the distributors of Chevrolet in Zimbabwe.
Gifford sports master Nathan Tshuma said the tournament would be a platform for the players to showcase what they can do on the field and they were expecting scouts from different clubs in the country.
“It is a platform for the players to grow. Schools are not only for educational purposes, but we have facilities where children can grow in the sporting disciplines they are talented in and play for big clubs as well as get scholarships,” he said.
The winner of the tournament will participate in a football tournament which will be held at Falcon College later this year.
About 5 000 soccer balls will be distributed to different schools.
The winners of the tournament will walk away with a box of soccer balls, a trophy and a kit.
Each school that takes part today will also receive a kit, soccer balls and medals.
Orap and Chevrolet gave away 15 000 balls to schools last year part of their programme to develop football.
Vice-President Phelekezela Mphoko is expected to officiate at the closing ceremony tomorrow.
Bulawayo: Amhlophe, Mpopoma, Mzilikazi, Gifford,
Matabeleland North: Zwangendaba, Tshilisa, Hlangabeza, Mavela
Matabeleland South: Dombodema, Manama, Phakamani, Matopo
Girls: Magwegwe, Sikhulile, Sijoni, JZ Moyo