Them­balethu Foun­da­tion to spon­sor Women’s Soc­cer League

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Ricky Zililo Se­nior Sports Reporter

THE South­ern Re­gion Women’s Soc­cer League has agreed a deal with Them­balethu Foun­da­tion as ti­tle spon­sors of the 2018 sea­son ex­pected to kick-off on Satur­day.

The foun­da­tion, which spon­sored the re­gion’s 2016 and 2017 end of year eight-team tour­na­ment, de­cided to in­cen­tivise women’s foot­ball in the re­gion by buy­ing ti­tle rights for this sea­son.

Takundwa Chimundiya, South­ern Re­gion Women’s Soc­cer League chair­per­son, hailed the part­ner­ship with Them­balethu Foun­da­tion and be­lieves this will open more op­por­tu­ni­ties for the league.

“Some peo­ple might feel that the deal we just signed with Them­balethu Foun­da­tion is lit­tle, but we be­lieve this is the first step to­wards good things for women’s foot­ball. The girls have for a long time been play­ing for ab­so­lutely noth­ing, with club of­fi­cials sac­ri­fic­ing a lot just to get the girls to play for no re­turns. At least this part­ner­ship gives girls some­thing to play for and in turn helps mo­ti­vate them to give their best know­ing that there are in­di­vid­ual prizes to be won at the end of the sea­son,” said Chimundiya.

Ten teams, In­line Academy, New Orleans, High­landers Roy­als, ZRP Bu­l­awayo, Black­boots, Mag­wegwe, Ubuntu, Sobuk­hazi, Bu­l­awayo Polytech­nic and Street Sets, have af­fil­i­ated with the South­ern Re­gion Women’s Soc­cer League.

At the end of the sea­son, all teams will get play­ing kits. The winners will also get a tro­phy and gold medals, with run­ners-up re­ceiv­ing a shield and sil­ver medals.

The foun­da­tion will also give all teams warm-up kits as part of the deal, which has in­di­vid­ual prizes for the top goal scorer, the best goal­keeper, best de­fender and the out­stand­ing mid­fielder.

Kevin Mar­ley of Them­balethu Foun­da­tion is happy with the part­ner­ship and be­lieves it will cre­ate ex­cite­ment and de­velop women’s soc­cer.

“Our ob­jec­tives as a foun­da­tion are to change the life of the girl child through sport and we be­lieve foot­ball is the right av­enue to achieve th­ese goals. We re­alised that in as much as we cel­e­brate the girl child through foot­ball at the end of the year, that’s a once-off event for the year. To be ef­fec­tive in help­ing de­velop as well as cre­ate ex­cite­ment among the girls, it is bet­ter to chan­nel re­sources we gather for the tour­na­ment to the league,” said Mar­ley.

“We will also have aware­ness pro­grammes dur­ing the sea­son tack­ling is­sues af­fect­ing girls, such as sex­ual abuse, drug abuse, un­wanted preg­nan­cies and forced mar­riages, among oth­ers. We are con­fi­dent that through foot­ball, we will be able to keep girls busy and share some life skills with them.”

Mar­ley is a former High­landers’ ju­nior player, who is now a Scot­tish FA qual­i­fied scout.

He said the prizes might in­crease as they are en­gag­ing over­seas-based Zim­bab­weans to help the league.

UK-based artist Sisa Senkosi, who is in­volved in a num­ber phil­an­thropic pro­grammes, has been roped in by Them­balethu Foun­da­tion to har­ness re­sources. — @ZililoR

The foun­da­tion will give all teams warm-up kits as part of the deal

Wil­son Mutekede

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