The Sunday News
Brandon Moyo, Sports Reporter
WHO would have thought that an Indian national would be a beacon of hope to hundreds, if not thousands of aspiring cricket players in Zimbabwe?
His love for Zimbabwe, since stepping foot on this great nation 10 years ago has been growing immensely, and he is a man with a vision, a dream to see Zimbabwe prospering and reaching greater heights.
That man is none other than the founding father of the Old Mutual Academy of Cricket Excellence, formerly known as Heath Streak Academy, Joseph Rego. Celebrating a decade of building future cricket stars in Zimbabwe and also his 63rd birthday recently, Rego plans to celebrate it in a big way.
His love for Zimbabwe extends to President Emmerson Mnangagwa, whom he is fond of and plans to gift him something special. As a show of support to the President, Rego is planning an initiative for His Excellency.
Rego’s love for Zimbabwe and his fondness for the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe is clearly visible through his dedication and contribution to the nation.
The Emmerson Mnangagwa National Sport and Community Development project which Rego plans to propose and gift His Excellency on his 63rd birthday is a heart-warming initiative, a powerful enabler, and a tool for empowering young people in overcoming hurdles to build peace and sustainable development through sport. Rego believes that his initiative is going to touch the heart of every sport loving child and parent in Zimbabwe.
“I am waiting to meet His Excellency, President Mnangagwa to seek his blessings. His Excellency, during the past five years, has made tremendous and unstoppable progress in engendering socio-economic development and setting the tone for the nation to quickly achieve 2030 goals through various game-changing projects with a direct bearing on people’s lives,” said Rego.
With the nation on the road to prosperity and President Mnangagwa’s nation-building projects in the fields of infrastructure, mining, and agriculture bearing fruit, Rego strongly believes that sport in schools can help to create a much-needed active generation among the nation’s youth.
“The proposed Emmerson Mnangagwa National Sports and Community Development Initiative will set out a supremely ambitious and transformational vision for the development of sport in the nation ensuring healthy lives, promoting well-being for all children and creating a powerful impact on their overall education and life skills development, including empowerment, leadership and self-esteem. The Emmerson Mnangagwa National Sports and Community Development Initiative will focus on using the power of sport to help children and youth on their pathway to success. The initiative will lay emphasis on transforming the lives of hundreds of talented kids, especially from less fortunate backgrounds who have no access to sports facilities and equipment.
“The initiative will also focus on empowering girls; offering the girl-child the opportunity to build their self-esteem, courage and self-efficacy, leadership, and belief in their own ability. We believe that all girls and young women have leadership capabilities that will become evident once recognised and nurtured,” assured Rego.
The Initiative will inspire corporate investment in sports for children, especially for the vulnerable by attracting corporate conglomerates to incorporate sports and education into their community responsibility programmes. The initiative will identify a popular sport being played in a school and provide the school with sports equipment and outreach programmes like qualified coaches who could design a structured programme that can aid in the development of sport and helping children stay healthy and perform better.
Born in the popular city of Bangalore in India on 28 October 1960, Rego arrived in Zimbabwe in 2013 and is celebrating an innings of 10 years not out in the country. He is also an old time friend and sporting agent of the late Zimbabwe Cricket icon, Heath Streak whom he helped in setting up the Academy of Cricket Excellence as it is known today.
The academy, today, which Rego is the president of, and board chairperson, boasts of two luscious green grass cricket fields, state-of-the-art floodlit net practice area, fully equipped Health Club and Fitness Center, a Sports Massage Parlor, a popular Restaurant serving healthy dietary delicacies, WI FI and other recreational facilities for parents, the franchisee Rugby Tots for little children, Swimming, Soccer, Karate, Kick Boxing, Frisbee and Rugby Academies at the venue, in an atmosphere and ambience unparalleled to any other sporting facility in Zimbabwe.
His love for the game dates back to when he was a young boy growing up and along the way he has worked with the likes of Ricky Ponting, Chris Cairns, Brian Lara, Andrew Flintoff, Andy and Grant Flower, among a host of big names in the sport. — @brandon_malvin