Collin Matiza Sports Editor
IT will be all work and no play for scores of young, aspiring handball players from more than 15 primary schools from in and around Harare who will be involved in the inaugural AM Foundation junior tournament at Alfred Beit on Saturday.
This tournament is the brainchild of the suspended Zimbabwe Handball Federation president, Amon Madzvamuse, who is now running his own handball junior development programme under Harare-based AM Foundation.
Madzvamuse, who is part of the ZHF executive board which was recently suspended for two years by the Sports Commission for non-compliance with the tenets of the Sports Commission’s Act, said yesterday that the hosting of the AM Foundation junior tournament at Alfred Beit Primary School was part of the academy’s preparations for the 2016 Partille Cup in Sweden and a tour of Cape Town, South Africa, later this year.
In fact, from July 4–9 this year, the Partille Cup will be played for the 47th consecutive year in Gothenburg, Sweden, and it will attract thousands of young people in the ages between 10 and 21 years old who will be drawn from about 90 countries from around the world, including Zimbabwe.
“As you know, I oversee the running of the AM Foundation, which is the only handball academy here in Zimbabwe and it has got nothing to do with the ZHF in terms of its operations; and we have decided to send a team of young boys and girls to this year’s Partille Cup in Sweden.
“We are also looking at sending the same team to a youth handball tournament in Cape Town, South Africa, in August this year and it is against this background that we have decided to stage this AM Foundation junior tournament in which we have invited about 15 handball-playing primary schools from in and around Harare to take part in it.
“It is at this tournament where we want to identify promising young players who will form the team that will represent the academy at both the Partille Cup in Sweden in July and at the youth tournament in Cape Town in August.
“We are looking at sending teams that will compete in four age-groups at the Partille Cup,” Madzvamuse said.
The primary schools that are expected to take part in this Saturday’s junior handball jamboree at Afred Beit are Moffat, Widdicombe, Houghton Park, Selbourne Routledge, Haig Park, Amandas, Prospect, Chemhanza, Chishawasha, Avonlea, Zengeza 8, Zengeza 4, Chipindura and the hosts Alfred Beit.
They will be joined at this tournament, which is open for boys and girls from 14 years and below, by teams from the AM Foundation.
Five other primary schools – Fungisayi, Chinembiri, St. Aidens, Farayi and Dudzai – are also expected to take in this tournament on Saturday where the winners will receive handball kits, trophies and certificates.
“We are going to expand the tournament next year which will see schools from outside Harare like Victoria Falls Primary School coming into the fold. We are also preparing to take part in the inaugural Kwekwe International Handball Festival which will be held in Kwekwe later this month.
“In fact, it is our wish to attend or take part in all handball tournaments locally, regionally and internationally. We have been receiving invitations from the organisers of various handball tournaments and we should also invite them to take part in our own events as well,” Madzvamuse said.