The Sunday News
Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
BULAWAYO Chiefs Football Club are at the final stages of completing their state-of-the-art club lounge, having invested thousands of dollars.
The ambitious football club’s lounge is at Bulawayo Chiefs Village formerly known as Amazulu Sports Club along Robert Mugabe Way.
Bulawayo Chiefs officially took over Amazulu Sports Club in March last year on a five-year lease from the Bulawayo City Council.
Thulani Javas Sibanda, Bulawayo Chiefs spokesperson said the lounge will be opened before the end of May.
He said renovations made are meant to create and upmarket leisure centre where revellers, including their fans will be able to wind up and enjoy themselves in a top class facility. Sibanda added that the lounge is the first of a series of developments that they are embarking on at Bulawayo Chiefs Village.
“We saw it fit to give our followers a glimpse of works that are being done at our Village. What people have seen is part of a number of developmental phases that our Club house will undergo on its way of being an internationally accepted Club House. Phases that will follow will see the upgrade of dressing rooms, gym area, administration blocks and many other features that we will reveal as time goes on. The lounge area is nearing completion and we are hoping to get it officially opened this month end to offer our followers and fans a place to meet and socialise,” said Sibanda.
He added that they are going through a recruitment exercise to get qualified personnel to man the classy bar.
Sibanda said the facility will also create employment for their players.
“This place will also do well to offer some form of employment to our players and staff as with time they will be the priority in terms of working here. We will continue to gradually keep our fans and followers updated on progress via our different platforms,” said Sibanda.
Chiefs want to first set up a training ground behind the main stadium, which they will use for training purposes as well as games for their women’s team as well as their developmental side while working on uplifting the main arena.
Unlike in the past when Bulawayo City Council leased out Amazulu Sports Club for a long period, the local authority has decided on five-year leases after noting that tenants were not developing the facilities and at times even accrued huge bills.
The first time the Amazulu Sports Club facility was leased out was in 1961 for a period of 25 years. The second automatic 25-year lease expired in 2011. In 2012, council leased out the facility to Amazulu for 10 years.