|Umzingwane District win Sylvia Dube Memorial tourney|
|Saturday, 16 June 2012 21:38|
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UMZINGWANE District emerged triumphant at the inaugural Matabeleland South edition of the Sylvia Dube Women’s Memorial Soccer Tournament held at Pelandaba Stadium yesterday.The tournament involving district teams from the province kicked off last Friday and climaxed at Pelandaba Stadium in the Matabeleland South capital yesterday.
Umzingwane walked away with the trophy after beating Gwanda South A, 1-0, in the final.
Umzingwane stormed into the final having dismissed Gwanda South B 1-0 in the second semi-final match whereas Gwanda South also pipped Gwanda North with the same scoreline in the other match ahead of the final.
For their efforts, Umzingwane walked away US$300 richer, a shield and medals for the players.
Gwanda South A and Gwanda North took home US$200 and US$100 for coming second and third respectively.
Speaking at the awards ceremony Zifa Matabeleland South vice-chairman William Chuma expressed gratitude to the organisers as the tournament opened new doors for young female soccer players while giving them something to look forward to in future.
“We would like to thank (Cuthbert) Dube (Zifa President) for his goodwill as he has made efforts to improve football in the province. The tournament is important as it captures young female footballers and encourages them to continue playing soccer,” he said.
Chuma said Dube had assisted them in setting up an office in the province which has made football administration easier.
Wavern Gunda, who was standing in for Dube, said the Zifa president’s passion for football has made him contribute immensely to the development of soccer in the country.
“It is grassroots soccer that we should be giving attention to because that is where players of the national team develop from and then become star players. Football is not just national teams. It is the lower rungs where raw talent can be found and developed. It is an area that we should not neglect,” he added.
Gunda said he was impressed by the talent exhibited during the tournament and was confident that if more resources are committed to the province, it would produce great players.
“The kids were playing without boots but they played impressively. I am sure once they are supplied with all they need they will do miracles on the pitch,” he said.
Gunda said plans were afoot to spread the tournament to other parts of the country. He said with resources permitting they might go national next year.
The two-day tournament was sponsored to the tune of US$26 000 by Zifa president Dube. The tournament was held in honour of Dube’s late wife, who died in 2000.
The guest speaker at the tournament, former Mighty Warriors player Sithethelelwe “Kwinji 15” Sibanda reminded the girls that the road to glory in women football was rough and tough and they could only succeed through perseverance.