Hunidzarira gets down to business Jethro “Chemi’’ Hunidzarira

Veronica Gwaze

Sports Reporter

NEWLY-appointed ZIFA technical director Jethro “Chemi’’ Hunidzarira has wasted no time in playing his part in the revival of the local game.

Hunidzarira has undertaken a whirlwind tour of the nation to try and revitalise junior football structures.

Having spent much of his post-playing career coaching in Botswana, Hunidzarira took over development matters at ZIFA following last November’s departure of Wilson Mutekede.

He is currently in the process of rekindling ZIFA’s relationship with the National Association for Primary Heads (NAPH) and the National Association of Secondary Heads (NASH) through engaging with schools across the provinces.

“We have already engaged and spoken to them about sharing our calendars to see what we can do together.

“So, considering that it is almost mid-year and they have their calendars already what we are now trying to do is to squeeze ourselves into their programs.

“In August we will be hosting the Under-15 and Under-17 COSAFA tournament so, we felt that we need to go into the schools and start from there.

“We want to inculcate a culture whereby schools and parents get to understand that at grassroots, children do not play to win but to enjoy the game so that it is the only way we can build a calibre of players that is passionate about the game.

“At that level, it is all about enjoying and developing the basics hence we want to create structures that allow them to play as much football as possible,” Hunidzarira said.

He also revealed plans to work with the Premier Soccer League to reintroduce the curtain raiser system at matches, involving mostly the junior teams.

Hunidzarira also wants to set up structures that are meant to give female footballers the same opportunities as men.

“We feel that girls do not have the same opportunities as boys and it is a situation for culture which somehow confines girls to certain ‘gender prescribed’ roles.

“In the national tour that we are currently conducting, we are encouraging women especially former players and others who have been involved in the game to come out of their shells.

“We want to engage and have them as the face of football so that even when we go into the communities, with them as part of the team, our work becomes easier.

“Slowly it is coming up, we have the Under-17 leagues in some areas although they are not as big as we want yet . . . it is a good foundation and soon more women will be motivated to join in.”

Hunidzarira emphasised the importance of schools for ZIFA to achieve their desired goals.

“However, for us to be able to do this, we need to go to the schools, despite their locations because everything starts there before we then speak to the community.”

Progress has also been made for CAF courses’ return, under the CAF coaching convention which seeks to raise the quality of coaches in Africa through professional training.

The TD’s office had also scheduled joint workshops for coaches and referees, in a move meant to restore sanity in the local game.

“We are trying to sell football hence there are things that we need to look into that have dented our game.

“There is a lot that we have initiated towards revamping our football although some of the things I am not yet at liberty to give the details about but our mission is largely to find a way to get the issues bedevilling our game solved.”


You Might Also Like