BY HENRY MHARA
RENOVATIONS at Wadzanai Stadium in Shamva are now at an advanced stage following the resumption of work after a lockdown-induced break.
The project is fronted by Simba Bhora Football Club director Simba Ndoro in collaboration with the local authority.
Simba Bhora are in the Zifa Northern Region Division One League, but see themselves playing continental football in few years time.
Once completed, Wadzanai Stadium, which looked like a rural school football ground just a year ago, will be transformed into a modern facility with a sitting capacity of 10 000 fans.
The facelift is expected to cost in excess of US$500 000.
“The reason why we undertook this project is to promote football and development of youth talent in this province,” Ndoro said.
Rehabilitation of the stadium, which started two years ago, had been frozen by the COVID-19-induced lockdown.
The once bumpy and dusty playing field has now transformed into a smooth lush green surface, while the dressing rooms and ablution facilities are almost complete.
“Our workmen have worked very hard and we are happy with the playing surface. It’s level and green. They are now working on the dressing rooms and we are hopeful that they finish by June this year. We will then move to construct the VIP area and then the rest of the other facilities of the stadium,” Ndoro added.
“Our target is to play Premier Soccer League matches in this stadium next year and the dream is to host continental football in the near future,” the 43-year-old businessman said.
Ndoro said he had so far invested US$200 000 into the project.
Football stakeholders led by Sports deputy minister Tinomudaishe Machakaire toured the football facility on Friday last week to have an appreciation of the work that is being done.
Zifa was represented by the association technical director Wilson Mutekede, northern region board member Stanslous Nyachowe and national teams general manager Wellington Mpandare.
Officials from the Sports and Recreation Commission and Shamva council also attended the event.
Machakaire pledged government support for the project.
He said government would avail resources for the repair of the road from the central business district to the stadium as well construction of the stadium’s perimeter fence.
“This is an incredible project being undertaken here and we should all emulate it,” Machakaire said.
“We all know that the government is trying to improve the standards of the game in the country and stadiums need to be of the highest standards.
“To have a community like Shamva working so hard to have a good stadium is something we all need to appreciate.
“As government, we are fully behind initiatives like this. We have to support this project and we salute the Shamva community for coming up, and working towards developing a standard stadium in their community.”
Division One football league has been tentatively set to resume in June.
Machakaire said government had approved the vaccination of football players in preparation for the resumption of the domestic leagues.
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