The Sunday News
Gerald Sibanda, Sports Reporter
MPOPOMA Sports Academy players were on Wednesday honoured for their sterling season in football in which the main boys and girls’ teams were promoted.
The event was held at Mpopoma High School on Wednesday afternoon. Guests from the Zimbabwe Football Association and local legends such as Cosmas “Tsano” Zulu and Mkhokheli Dube graced the event.
The school’s headmaster, Christopher Dube, also attended the event while teachers and football coach Babson Ngwenya were there.
Former Mpopoma High School pupils who now ply their trade in the Zimbabwe Premier Soccer League and Division One teams were in attendance and Mpopoma High sports director James Rugwevera advised them to give back to their school whenever they get the opportunity to do so. I urge you guys to give back to these youngsters here. It means a lot to them. It is always special for me and the youngsters here. It motivates them, even if you bring one ball you wouldn’t know how much it would mean to the youngsters here,” said Rugwevera.
Mkhokheli Dube who also played at the highest level locally and abroad also emphasised on the importance of balancing up football and academics.
“It is important for you and also for your education. See right now, you will be playing and getting paid and you will be young, but with education you are able to even prepare for life after football,” said Dube.
Zulu emphasisd on the importance of improving the sporting infrastructure at the school. Both teams will be participating in the Division Two league next season. The girls finished as champions while the boys finished as runners-up. The Academy is looking for well-wishers to support them with sponsorship come next season.
The teams showed off their medals while there were individual awards in which players received trophies and cash.
There were awards for the Upcoming Player, Goal of the Season, Top Goal Scorer, Most Disciplined Player, Player’s Player of the Season, Player of the Season voted by the executive and the Supporter of the Season as well. For the lady’s team, the Top Goalscorer award went to Tatenda Gambiza, Players’ Player of the season was Sithandweyinkosi Magara, Upcoming Player was Siphosenkosi Moyo, Goalkeeper of the Season, Talent Nyoni.
The Most Disciplined Player went to Ashley Musinami and the Player of the Season as voted by the executive was scooped up by Tatenda Gambiza, the Top Goal Scorer. For the boys team, the Upcoming Player award went to Zibusiso Mthethwa, Goal of the Season to Decent Shumba, Top Goal Scorer was Tawanda Kaduwa, the Most Disciplined Player award went to Wayne Guburiro, the Player’s Player of the Season was Bandile “Mantengwane” Mthimkhulu while the Player of the Season which was decided by the executive’s votes went to Tinotenda Matshongololo.
In a much unfamiliar scenario, the team also showed that it appreciates its supporters, there was the supporter’s award which was given to Sibongile Phiri.
In attendance were two Premiership players who learnt at Mpopoma High School, Chibuku Super Cup winner Junior Makunike of Dynamos and Highlanders’ Reward Muza.
“We invited them so that they motivate our players. We are proud of their successes so far. At one stage they were right here at Mpopoma,” said Rugwevera.