Rural Community football takes over the mantle

Tatenda Choruwa - The man behind Sky Tournament Cup.

With junior league football having been abandoned, rural community football is fast becoming another easy way of identifying hidden talent and giving the chance to long forgotten talented youngsters in rural areas

Of late, there has been a marked increase in football competitions in rural communities but sadly the competitions have not been well supported or followed by the football authorities.

At first, these competitions were used by politicians seeking office to drum up support for themselves but the venture has been adopted by communities with the intention being talent identification and junior football development.

What we now see is that more and more businessmen and those in the diaspora — are coming up to support such tournaments in their areas of birth which is good for our football.

These football gatherings have now become a source of pride for communities as they parade their vast football talents while at the same time providing entertainment.

Team building in these competitions is so easy as it is a grouping of footballers who know each other well from the areas they come from and are motivated by their desire to make it big both locally and internationally.

What we urge is for football people within our political circles —among them — Farai Jere, Innocent Benza, Eddie Chivero, and Noah Mangondo, to continue supporting such competitions even after being elected into parliament.

What is even interesting is the popularity these competitions have garnered as evidenced by the presence of Simba Bhora coach Tonderai Ndiraya who was scouting for talent during the Sky Tournament Cup which was in Murewa and attracted a huge crowd including several local prominent personalities, business executives, and the MP for Murewa South Constituency, Noah Mangondo.

What is even more interesting is the fact that this was a competition of only four teams from the area but attracted a bumper crowd like what Dynamos and Highlanders draw when playing against each other.

Murewa businessman Tatenda Choruwa who bankrolls this popular Sky Tournament Cup is appealing for top football coaches, player managers, and agents, to grace such competitions and scout for talent.

“We want PSL coaches and player agents like Gibson Mahachi to come and see the talent that is there. They will be shocked by what they will see,” boasted Choruwa.

As the name suggests Choruwa says - the Sky Tournament Cup - is aimed at taking talented footballers up the SKY in their careers while at the same time giving the community the chance to enjoy themselves.

And there are many such tournaments which have come up in all the four parts of the country with the intention of exposing hidden football talent but their borne of contention remains the same — that the football family is not taking them seriously.

From the Matengambiri Cup in Nyanga, to the Mai Hondo Tournament in Mutare, via the KB Kanyongo Tournament in Mutoko, the Kenzamba Soccer Show in Makonde, the Mpondi Sports Festival in Zhombe, the Simbi Yebasa Bhora Mberi Tournaments in Murewa South — amongst others - the tournaments continue to increase.

On that premise, it is high time that those in the football corridors of power realized that football talent is everywhere even in competitions viewed as for amateurs or for ‘boozers.’ and should give those tournaments recognition and respect.

What they should do is to forget about the notion that football competitions in wards, districts, and constituencies, are for politicians because they have grown too big and for that matter, far beyond estimations.

This is where we can one day discover another George Shaya, Peter Ndlovu, Joel Shambo, Moses Chunga, Knowledge Musona, or Khama Billiat.

And in case of women's football another Rudo Neshamba.

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