Fungai Lupande

TROJAN Stars have added their voice in denouncing drug and substance abuse during the unveiling of their kit and players for the 2024 ZIFA Northern Region Division One season.

The abuse of illegal and prescription drugs has been reported among footballers and athletes to enhance their performances.

Trojan Stars have assembled a team of youthful players with the youngest being just 16.

Speaking at the unveiling ceremony, Tawanda Damiso, the head of Chipindura Primary School, said footballers abuse a variety of drugs due to peer pressure, experiments and boredom.  

“Some athletes and soccer players use illegal drugs. The practice is called doping and is done to gain an advantage over others,” he said.

“Drug and substance abuse has negative effects on athletes and soccer players. 

“Unbecoming behaviour, mental disorders, poor performance and violence are some of the effects of drug abuse.

“Teams should have professional counsellors and team managers must have a database of all footballers. 

“Employment opportunities are key in eradicating drug and substance abuse.”

Team manager, Webster Chimbodza, said they were ready for the 2024 season.

Last season, the team finished at number eight.

“We want to improve on discipline and performance. We want to play the entertaining football that we are known for.”

Coach Alisara Kondowe said they scouted for young talent across Mashonaland Central.

 “We are running a three-year project and seasoned players are mentoring young players.  We are moulding them so that they uphold discipline,” he said.

 “There is vast talent in the province. Some of the good players are from marginalised communities and are less privileged. 

“We are reaching out to everyone to give everyone an equal opportunity.

A Form Four student, Imran Friday (16), is grateful for the opportunity to play for Trojan Stars.

 “I am balancing my school work and training. I am happy to be part of the team and to be mentored by seasoned players,” he said.

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