All set for U-12 street kids tourney
Tadious Manyepo Sports Reporter
FIREWORKS are expected when Under-12 street kid soccer teams clash in a high-stakes annual tournament set for Sunningdale, Harare, on Sunday.
A group of philanthropists led by Laureen Adam have for the past 10 years come together to organise the yearly event for this underprivileged members of the society.
Other members in the organising committee include Vusani Maseko, former Motor Action man Alan Johnson and Tapiwa Chibuwe.
This year’s edition will see three teams, Mbare, Sunningdale and Domboshawa battling it out for honours in a round-robin format before the top-two placed sides clash in the final.
And the organisers have made it even bigger and better as three best players to emerge from the fiesta will be offered scholarships.
A full kit, courtesy of Spanish giants, Barcelona will also be handed over to the winners. Adam said they organised the tournament after realising a lot in terms of untapped sporting talent is lying idle in the streets.
She said her will is to try and take the kids off the street so they can lead decent lives.
“We have organised a three-team soccer tournament for the Under-12 kids which will be played in Sunningdale on Sunday.
“The aim of the contest is to get well with people to sponsor scholarships to the students needing help with school fees and other necessities,” said Adam.
Adam, who has been concentrating on the kids in Mbare to try and realign their lives has enlisted the services of ex Mighty Bulls left-back Alan Johnson to coach the Mbare team and she is confident the team will deliver on Sunday.
“As part of my philanthropic work, I have been taking care of street kids in the high density suburb of Mbare. I have been sponsoring them for the past 10 years to try and keep them off the street.
“I now have street kids and street fathers plus ordinary underprivileged kids under my banner who too have joined our teams, both boys and girls.
“The challenge is that it’s all good that they are coming up in terms of staying off the streets but I can’t take them any further career-wise.
“So I have enlisted the services of former Premiership player Johnson (Alan) to help me out. He also has an organisation called 10 Toes and they will be helping in the hosting of this tournament.
“My dream is to marry initiatives such as these with the Sustainable Development Goals as well as to marry wellness with my company and wellness of their welfare, and also, to be truly sincere to get help on their behalf. The plight of these kids is very touching and they need help. So we have decided to chip in that way.
“I know the tournament will be great as most of these children are talented. Scouts are also invited at the fiesta.
“Being an orphan myself, I know how it feels and we need to help each other out. The most important thing is these kids are potential Zimbabwe national team players whose talent is being lost to the way they are living their lives. There are so many examples of great soccer players who have made out of the streets.”