BY HENRY MHARA
NATIONAL Association of Secondary Heads (NASH) has declared zero tolerance to age cheating, promising to eradicate the scourge that has previously tarnished the good work that the schools were doing to develop sports at grassroots level.
Speaking at the launch of this year’s edition of the Copa Coca-Cola at Pamushana High School in Masvingo this week, NASH acting president Arthur Maposa said his organisation is determined to put an end to the problem that has haunted them for years, particularly in this tournament, which is their premier event in the school’s sports calendar.
“This (age cheating) has become a sore thumb in the running of our grassroot developmental games, which no doubt we are custodians with noble intents. Let us all soberly and holistically if not passionately and religiously exorcise our organisation and repute NASH of this satanic and demonic inclination towards age falsification. In sordid unpalatable terms, let me say let not the hairy, muscular, scarily-bearded youth masquerades impeach on the genuine rights of the rightful and youthful learners in our sporting activities – as we seek to pander to the culture of foul adulterated winning without a
conscience,” Maposa said.
In his speech, which sounded more of a manifesto, Maposa, who is vying for the substantive president position to succeeded Johnson Madhuku, took a swipe at schools that use over-aged players in Copa Coca-
Cola tournaments to get success and huge rewards that comes with winning the tourney.
He said if given the chance to lead, he will make sure that the schools become the true custodians of youthful sports development, genuinely exposing and nurturing learners so that they can have a future in the disciplines they offer.
“The will to get to the upper podium and lift the cup has led to challenges, where in some instances we do have to win at all cost syndrome, hence the scourge of age cheating creeps in. We have had these
challenges, but they cannot eclipse our good works.”
“Through our NASH structures, we will move to bring sanity in the running of all our sport codes. Ensure they are real grassroots drivers of sports development. Let us not teach our children to cheat to win, but teach them to win fairly and appropriately. To ride on the current trending statement as a declaration of finality to cheating, I say here before you as a preface of my tenure in office, ‘it will
not work, and yes, I will not make it work and I will make the proper age system work, finish and closed’.”
Pamushana High School won last year’s tournament in Zvishavane, amid allegations of age cheating.
Yesterday’s event was graced by former Warriors and Dynamos players Artwel Mukandi, who is a product of Pamushana High School, and George Magariro.
Coca-Cola Eastern and Central Africa programme manager, Vee Chibanda, promised another exciting tournament this year, which kicks off with the zonal games next week.
The district competitions have been slated for June 7 and the provincial finals are on June 28 and that will culminate with the national finals in July.