Don Makanyanga in Hwange.
MATABELELAND North became the first province to benefit from the Fifa Forward 2.0 project which seeks to promote grassroots development.
Three junior leagues from the province, Binga, Hwange and Victoria Falls Junior Football League, have been given football equipment to develop the game in their respective areas. A total of 52 Junior Football League teams in the province received a full playing kit, nine training balls, one match ball and two training kit bibs each.
ZIFA Normalisation Committee member, Rosemary Mugadza, revealed that the Fifa Forward 2.0 project seeks to promote the development of football at grassroots level.
“As the Normalisation Committee, we are committed to seeing that football development starts at the grassroots, hence we are embarking on a countrywide distribution of football equipment to beneficiaries of the project,” said Mugadza.
With each of the country’s 10 provinces set to benefit from the project, Mugadza revealed that the main targets of the project will be remote areas.
“With this project, we are desisting from being centric to Harare, Bulawayo and other major towns and cities.
“All the 10 provinces in the country will benefit from this programme, but our main target will be areas in the remote parts of the country,” she said.
The development project has been hailed as life changing initiative by the recipient leagues.
Binga Junior Football League had 34 teams benefitting while Hwange and Victoria Falls Junior Football Leagues had 12 and 11 beneficiaries respectively.
In an interview with Zimpapers Sports, Binga Junior League Football chairperson, Pride Ngwenya, expressed gratitude to the Normalisation Committee for the equipment.
“We are really excited to have the Fifa Forward 2.0 project coming here in Binga where a total of 34 teams in the junior league have benefitted.
“We never thought this day will come. We have always believed that these projects are meant for cities and towns.
“With such equipment, both the administrators and children will feel motivated to be part of the grassroots development and now the ball is in our court to play our part “ said Ngwenya. It was almost a similar feeling with the Hwange Junior Football League.
Munyaradzi Mungadza of Baobab Rovers Academy, who are among the 12 beneficiaries in the Hwange Junior Football League, welcomed the donation.
“We are really grateful to Fifa and ZIFA for handing us football equipment.
“As champions of grassroots football, we are happy that we too have benefitted from the project and we feel such kind of projects targeting grassroots will play a pivotal role in the development of the game,” said Mungadza.