The Sunday News
Mandla Ncube, Sports Reporter
YEAR in year out, the new academical year presents a new dawn for every school across the country.
For Mpopoma High School, 2020 is a year they aim to break barriers and exert their sporting dominance at a national level.
Long seen as the envy of Bulawayo in academics, they have since spread to sports with the school proving to be a sporting powerhouse in the years gone by. Long serving Mpopoma High School sports director, James Rugwevera, who assumed the role in 2003 following a successful stint at Amandlethu Secondary School which saw him produce heralded names noteworthy among them being Margaret Mahohoma, believes the puzzle is not yet complete.
“We still have the vision of conquering Zimbabwe, we want to compete with schools like Prince Edward and Pamushana, we still want to get some accolades at national level, if we manage to add three or five medals we will be competing with the big names,” said Rugwevera.
Last year was an unforgettable one for Mpopoma which saw them claim an impressive three gold medals at national level in Under-17 Girls Volleyball, Under-17 Beach Volleyball and Under-15 Girls Copa Coca-Cola.
With a fresh year, so are the ambitions of a school where sporting excellence has been forged into its DNA since Rugwevera took over the reins back in 2003.
“We want to retain the trophies we won last year and probably come with a shock in Coca-Cola boys Under-15, last year we came third of which this year we should improve and get into the final,” he said.
With specific structures put in place to groom talent, over the years, Mpopoma have gone on to establish themselves as the mainstay of producing talented players across various sporting disciplines.
The structures have seen Mpopoma groom heralded athletes like FC Platinum duo of Kevin Madzongwe, Denzel Khumalo, Lucky Ndlela who plays for Bulawayo Chiefs, national champion in 400m Gift Ngwenya. The school also boasts of providing much of the current girls national Under-17’s spine with nine players coming from Mpopoma.