South­ern Re­gion Soc­cer Stars to be hon­oured

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Ngqwele Dube Sports Cor­re­spon­dent

SOUTH­ERN Re­gion Di­vi­sion One’s out­stand­ing play­ers are set to be hon­oured next week with Hwange and Tsholot­sho set to dom­i­nate the list af­ter bat­tling for the cham­pi­onship with the for­mer emerg­ing vic­tors.

The Liquor Hub Whole­sale Cen­tre­spon­sored Zifa South­ern Re­gion Soc­cer Stars 2018 will be an­nounced on 16 De­cem­ber at a cer­e­mony sched­uled for the premises of the beer and gro­cery out­let.

Zifa South­ern Re­gion ex­ec­u­tive com­mit­tee mem­ber, Mehluli Thebe said they are ready to re­ward their out­stand­ing play­ers this sea­son, a year in which Hwange held on for vic­tory to make a re­turn to the Premier­ship af­ter be­ing rel­e­gated last year. Thebe said they will hon­our the top 11 play­ers, Top Goal Scorer and Coach of the Year.

“The Soc­cer Star of the Year will walk away with $300, first run­ner-up will get $200 and sec­ond run­ner-up will take home $150 with the rest of the play­ers walk­ing away with $50 each. The Top Goal Scorer and Coach of the Year will each re­ceive $200,” he said.

Hwange’s vet­eran striker, Gil­bert Zulu has al­ready earned him­self $200 af­ter land­ing the golden boot as he net­ted 21 goals, lead­ing the coal min­ers’ at­tack that pro­pelled them back to the top tier. Zulu is ex­pected to lead in the fight for the top hon­ours af­ter an out­stand­ing per­for­mance with other play­ers likely to grace the cal­en­dar be­ing Hwange’s Ernest Gwitima and Canaan Nkomo, Talen Vi­sion’s Gray Ku­fan­dada, Man­dlenkosi Gasela, Njab­ulo Ng­wenya while from ZPC Hwange John Chiny­erere is likely to make the cut.

Tsholot­sho play­ers Mce­bisi Moyo and Michael Bhebhe are also in con­tention for a place in the top 11 to­gether with Moto Moto’s Ta­tenda Ushe and High­landers mid­fielder, Den­zel Khu­malo, who had a ster­ling first half per­for­mance at Bosso’s Di­vi­sion One out­fit be­fore be­ing el­e­vated to the se­nior team at the half­way mark.

Liquor Hub’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Stan­ford Mazura said they are ready to hon­our the play­ers as has been the case for the past two years. Liquor Hub is owned by In­dus­try and Com­merce Deputy Minister, Raj Modi, who has been at the fore­front of sup­port­ing sports in the prov­ince.

Mean­while, Mazura said ath­letes have al­ready started reg­is­ter­ing for this year’s Liquor Hub Fun Run that will be held on the same day. The event in­cor­po­rates the 10km race and the 5km walk to ac­com­mo­date both pro­fes­sional ath­letes and fit­ness en­thu­si­asts.

“We have al­ready reg­is­tered just over 100 en­tries for the two cat­e­gories and we are look­ing for­ward to see­ing more peo­ple reg­is­ter as the event date draws near. This year’s race is be­ing spon­sored to the tune of R50 000 with the win­ners in the se­nior men and women’s cat­e­gories walk­ing away with R5 000 each, sec­ond placed ath­letes will get R3 000 with the run­ners com­ing in third re­ceiv­ing R2 000 each,” he said.

The top three in the ju­nior men and women will get R1 500, R1 000 and R500 re­spec­tively. The top two in both male and fe­male wheel sec­tion will walk away with R2 000 and R1 500 re­spec­tively. Mazura re­vealed they have re­verted back to the orig­i­nal route af­ter chang­ing it last year.

“This year we are mov­ing back to the old route and we will start and fin­ish at Liquor Hub premises in the city cen­tre. Ath­letes in the 10km race will pro­ceed south-east along 4th Av­enue to Ku­malo then make an about turn at the Hindu Com­mu­nity Cen­tre in the same sub­urb back to Liquor Hub where the fin­ish­ing point will be.

“Those in the 5km walk will start at Liquor Hub and then pro­ceed to the Hockey Sta­dium and back,” he said.

Reg­is­tra­tion fees re­main the same as last year ($5 for se­niors, $3 for ju­niors and $2 for char­ity walk).

All pro­ceeds from sup­pli­ers and reg­is­tra­tion fees plus gro­ceries worth R10 000 will be do­nated to needy char­i­ties within the com­mu­nity.

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