Caroline Magenga Sports Reporter
THE annual National Association of Secondary Heads Under-20 soccer tournament received a new sponsorship deal yesterday with the coming on board of Population Services International (PSI) as the title sponsors. Over the last five years, the Under-20 tournament had no title sponsor following the withdrawal of Coca-Cola who have since partnered with the Under-16 edition of the football tournament.
Under the sponsorship deal, PSI will provide playing kits for the teams that will make it for the national finals at the beginning of October at Prince Edward High School.
The winner of the tournament will get US$1 000, the second-placed side is expected to receive US$500 while the second runner-up will pocket US$250.
Twelve teams are expected to take part in the two-day event where a team from each of the provinces, the defending champions Churchill Boys and hosts Prince Edward will make the competing lot.
The provincial finals are set for this weekend at various centres across the country where the winners will go on to the national finals set for Harare early next month.
PSI social marketing director Kumbirai Chatora yesterday said the sponsorship package does not only include playing kit for the finalists.
The sponsorship is part of the “Pinda muSmart/Ngena ku-Smart” male circumcision programme. “Accommodation and transport to attend the games in Harare for all participating schools will also be provided as well as a trophy and US$1 750 to be shared out as prize money for the winning school and the two runner-ups.
“This is the beginning of a great soccer partnership between NASH and the Pinda muSmart/Ngena kuSmart male circumcision programme.
“Soccer is a well-loved sport in this country and it’s a sport that speaks to everyone’s heart and, most importantly, it is also a favourite past-time enjoyed by our target group — the adolescents
“Through this partnership, we aim to assist in developing a young person who is fit in the body and mind and is aware of the health options available to him to protect himself from HIV.
“We are looking beyond just kicking the ball in schools but adding value by providing opportunities for the adolescents to understand and engage with the Pinda muSmart/Ngena Ku- Smart brand,” she said.
NASH president Johnson Madhuku said they were overwhelmed by PSI’s intervention.
“I am a relieved man today because PSI has decided to partner us by sponsoring the Under-20 soccer tournament
“We as NASH are very excited by this union and we believe it will go far in the development of soccer in the country.
“As NASH we run 15 different sporting disciplines with more than 30 different tournaments annually from the meagre resources we collect so, at times, we are overwhelmed and really need such partnerships,” said Madhuku.