Academy to celebrate first annivesary

07 Apr, 2024 - 00:04 0 Views
Academy to celebrate first annivesary TwinMat Sports Academy technical team members Aleck Nyoni (left), Kelvin Mushangazhike (centre) and Shingi Kawondera

The Sunday News

Lovemore Dube 

WHEN the trio of Reuben and Nonhlanhla Mataka and their friend Twine Phiri, the former Premier Soccer League boss entertained the idea of an academy early last year, little did they imagine that a year later,  the dream will be shaping up.

TwinMat Sports Academy was formed last year, to give talented children an opportunity to pursue their dreams through God given talents. 

The vision was to identify talent from all over the country and bring it to one centre, where competent and former role model players would be the drivers of the objective of nurturing the next generation of stars.

Reuben told Zimpapers Sports Hub that they started the Academy in Gwanda last year and will be celebrating their anniversary there, despite most of the stuff being done in Harare where some of the players live. The Academy has roped in former Young Warriors teammates, Kelvin Mushangazhike, Shingi Kawondera and Aleck Nyoni to be part of the technical team.

“We brought in Kelvin Mushangazhike and Shingi Kawondera to work with us. They have vast experience having played in Europe, South Africa and Zimbabwe. When they stand up, children listen to them attentively, when they demonstrate on the field, they do it like masters of the craft.

“It has been a good start to our project and we have Aleck Nyoni working with us from Matabeleland North, where he has been very helpful in us identifying gems in Binga,” said Reuben.

Reuben said the dream is to identify players from less privileged environments and give them a platform to pursue their academics and football. 

The Matakas, he said share the same passion for football with Phiri, who has been in the thick of things with the local game. The husband and wife pair of Reuben and Nonhlanhla, who are lawyers in Harare, believe the country has abundant talent and what is needed is for people to give the rural child a chance. 

He said the rural boy must not be brought to town for trials,  as he may collapse under a weight of expectation in a different environment and culture. 

“We travel deep to their own natural habitat, let them play and we then identify the best that we give an opportunity to come and stay with us in Harare and train while going to school under the watchful eyes of us (Mr and Mrs Mataka) and the coaches. When they are in their own space, they are able to communicate among themselves in their own way, play with confidence and then our scouts identify, then they have to be spoken to about expectations they may have of the bright lights of Harare and our own as an Academy. We are serious on discipline, we are part of the drug and substance campaign in sport and we want them to excel in their academics,” said Reuben who last week was at Nkalange Business Centre in Gwanda in a tournament that provided the Zimbabwe Republic Police and other community members an opportunity to denounce abuse of drugs and substances.

The Academy has partnered with Dombo Primary School in Nkalange and they also have Bethel on the cards,with one Ntuthuko their technical man on the ground.

Reuben said they will be back in Matabeleland South at the end of the month with another tournament, this time to celebrate their first anniversary. Last weekend’s event was sponsored by TwinMat Sports Academy and Maramani Moyo, a local businessman.

Gwanda is where Nonhlanhla comes from. Last year the Academy plucked out promising goalkeeper Bayethe Mwembe from Samende area of Binga. 

They also followed it up with Prominent Mnkuli, a right winger blessed with pace and skill.

“We would love to go around the country looking for good players to give a lifeline and a potential future in both academics and football,” he said.

Reuben announced that the month end celebrations in Gwanda will have a number of teams taking part, with one from Harare.

“It started in Gwanda and we will celebrate with the people who were at the inception of the idea,” said Reuben.

He challenged the football family to think about the rural child.




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