BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
FORMER Young Warriors utility player Miguel Lemming (pictured) has committed to helping local female footballers get scholarships to study and play the game in the United States through his organisation Ten Toes Africa.
Ten Toes Africa is currently basking in the glory of having already helped two national team players Vanessa Mateko and Beata Chako who are already in the US.
Chako left the country only last week on a four-year university scholarship at Brewton-Parker College in Georgia where her compatriot is also based.
“It is an honour and priviledge for Ten Toes to help the women of Zimbabwe excel and if they advance from Under-17 to Under-23 (stages) to national team, any part we can play in that progress to represent our country’s flag is so important,” the former Arcadia United star told NewsDay Sport from the US.
“The benefit of having education as a primary piece of that is that once soccer is done, these children are empowered to impact local communities, regional communities and globally. The ambassadorship of our kids coming here to America is huge,” Lemming said.
“American kids can then better understand Zimbabwe and the rich resources we have, so it’s important to have these international exchange of students to further our global reach and have these children advance their education in the United States.
“They can bring that knowledge to Zimbabwe if at all possible and along with that bring some friends with them to come and advance our tourism,” he added.
A promising player in his time, Lemming left the country for the United States as a 23-year-old in 2001 where he continued his football career at Palm Beach Atlantic University.
Lemming had a lot of praise for sponsors of the initiative such as Chris Miles, Mike Delug, Matt and Chris Grecco and Alex Wakefield, the chief executive of Longbow Advantage, among others.
Wakefield declared unwavering support toward the Ten Toes Africa initiative.
“Collegiate athletics are an invaluable way for young women to learn teamwork, dedication and leadership. Providing young women the opportunity to share their talents with a college community while they are able to get a top education benefits everyone. We are proud sponsors of Ten Toes, and we look forward to seeing the successes of all the athletes,” Wakefield said.
Lemming also made special mention of Ten Toes Africa regional technical director Allan Johnson who has played for the Warriors in the past, Gladman Dimbiri of Maningi Queens FC and former Warriors coach Charles Mhlauri.
According to Lemming, former West Bromwich Albion is the brains behind the idea of investing in girls.