Lifa Gala bright­ens Rowa com­mu­nity

The Manica Post - - Sport - Wim­bainashe Zhakaka Post Cor­re­spon­dent

DRIVEN by the de­sire to cel­e­brate the New Year in style and plough­ing back to com­mu­nity, the Lifa New Year Gala, whose menu in­cluded soccer among other sport­ing dis­ci­plines, on Tues­day ex­ploded at Rowa much to the ex­cite­ment of lo­cal folks.

By the end of the day, win­ners walked away with prices worth more than $300 in the soccer, tag-of-war and net­ball, among other sport­ing gen­res.

In an in­ter­view with The Man­ica Post on the side­lines of the gala held in Ward 14, Mutare South, the gala co­or­di­na­tor and founder of Villa Foot­ball Club, Al­lan Lifa said this year’s tour­na­ment, held un­der the theme — pro­mot­ing and com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment — was a huge suc­cess.

Lifa said they have been host­ing the Lifa New Year gala for the past four years.

“It is not our first time to host a gala of this kind. It started as a small fam­ily event and we de­vel­oped and ex­panded it to in­clude the com­mu­nity. The gala is meant for youths, but we have also ac­com­mo­dated the el­derly. Our thrust is to de­velop the youth so that they can avoid com­mit­ting crime and en­gag­ing in un­de­sir­able be­hav­iour dur­ing hol­i­days,” he said.

Lifa said the gala was his fam­ily’s way of plough­ing back to the com­mu­nity that nur­tured them.

“This is also our unique way, as a fam­ily, of giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity that raised us. Given the preva­lent eco­nomic hard­ships, who are we as a fam­ily, to eat more than three meals per day while oth­ers are starv­ing? We made sure every­one went back home with some­thing to eat for par­tic­i­pat­ing in the event, be they win­ners or losers,” he said.

Four soccer teams that par­tic­i­pated dur­ing the gala in­cluded Villa FC from Harare, Rowa United, Le­gends and Lifa United. Only two net­ball teams - Elite Ladies and Rowa ladies — par­tic­i­pated.

Elite Ladies scored 27 points while Rowa ladies scored 7. Lifa said they are also look­ing for young tal­ent through such sport tour­na­ments.

“It is through such tour­na­ment that we un­ravel fu­ture soccer play­ers. Villa FC is my team and some­times we give away our play­ers to big teams rather than sell­ing them,” he said. Rep­re­sent­ing Deputy Min­is­ter of Home Af­fairs Mike Madiro, Gla­dys Ndapfinya ap­pre­ci­ated the event say­ing it helped the com­mu­nity eco­nom­i­cally and phys­i­cally.

“I see this event as an op­por­tu­nity to help a lot of youths in our com­mu­nity. If they train hard, they might end play­ing for the big teams.

“I ap­pre­ci­ate what the Li­fas are do­ing, they have such a big heart for com­mu­nity,” she said. Pic­tures by Ti­nai Nyadzayo

Team talk . . . A coach gives a mo­ti­va­tional team talk be­fore one of the matches.

Net­ball teams bat­tle it out in one of the gala matches

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