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Orap to help rural kids play in major leagues

by Staff reporter
03 Jan 2019 at 09:05hrs | Views
THE Organisation of Rural Associations for Progress (ORAP) will engage primary and secondary schools from Nkayi district to identify, promote and give children a platform to play in professional leagues.

ORAP, an organisation founded by the Minister of Small and Medium Enterprises, Sithembiso Nyoni in 1981, will also invite scouts from professional teams to help scout for talent in the rural communities.

"We'll liaise with all local schools to ensure that the tournaments that are organised will involve children under the age of 18 as they still have a chance to make it to major leagues. "Our mission is to empower young people through sports and the fact that football is the most popular, I invited scouts from Bulawayo to come and see how best they can help us," said Minister Nyoni.

She said as part of the initiative, they came up with Gwelutshena Academy where they want to nurture the talented youths and give them a passage to the professional teams. She said they were growing the initiative by engaging schools to ensure that sports promotion starts at grassroots level.

"We want to build on the fact that the people of Nkayi are passionate about football so that one day one of our own from Nkayi represents Zimbabwe in national colours.

"In this project some players are going to be picked up and we'll do everything in our power to make sure their dream is accomplished," Minister Nyoni said. The Minister recently attended a soccer tournament organised by ORAP at Sebhumane Business Centre where Highlanders Junior coaches, Sizabantu Khoza and Gift Lunga Junior were invited.

Addressing guests and players at the tournament, Khoza said football was a profession and as such could be a source of livelihood for soccer players and their families.

"I challenge every parent in Nkayi to support their kids to realise their dreams of playing football and we promise that when a star is born, Highlanders will not hesitate to give that player a chance," said Khoza, a dribbling menace during his time with the Bulawayo giants. He also urged youngsters to desist from abusing drugs.

Source - chronicle