Zim­babwe’s beast in­car­nate

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - SPORT -

KEITH Machakaire is ar­guably one of the strongest ath­letes in the coun­try.

The 24-year-old UZ Wolves util­ity player is a gym freak, re­sults of which saw him voted the best server at the Zone VI Vol­ley­ball Cham­pi­onships held ear­lier this month in Dur­ban.

And an ac­co­lade he is not sat­is­fied with. “I was a lit­tle dis­ap­pointed, as I was aim­ing for the big one.

“I wanted to be the MVP (most valu­able player),” said Machakaire. “I want to be the best, end of story! “I don’t take any days off,” he said. For the vol­ley­ball star, rais­ing the bar is some­thing he takes both lit­er­ally and fig­u­ra­tively.

“I trained hard, I en­joy hit­ting the ball hard, but I also worked on my pass­ing and de­fen­sive skills. I went to the gym ev­ery day and did some vol­ley­ball-based ex­er­cises on speed and jump­ing,” he said.

UZ Wolves lost the Zone VI Cham­pi­onship 3-1 in the fi­nal to Botswana’s Po­lice VI.

Vic­tory for Wolves would have been Machakaire’s se­cond suc­ces­sive Zone VI ti­tle af­ter win­ning it with Sup­port Unit last year in Bu­l­awayo. Iron­i­cally, Sup­port Unit beat UZ Wolves in that fi­nal. How­ever, Machakaire is al­ready pre­par­ing for the Africa Club Cham­pi­onships sched­uled for Tu­nisia in March next year.

“Train­ing this way gives me an edge over ev­ery­one else,” said Machakaire, in ref­er­ence to his ex­ten­sive gym rou­tine.

“It makes me feel pro­fes­sional in my ev­ery­day con­duct. I don’t drink or smoke, I just train and try to im­prove my­self ev­ery day.

“I am al­ready on pre-sea­son train­ing and will be in the gym from 6am for about five to six hours,” he said.

Machakaire went on to re­veal fur­ther se­crets, most no­tably the ori­gins of his ‘Beast’ moniker and the two women who urge him on be­hind the scenes.

On the nick­name, the 24-year-old said: “It’s prob­a­bly be­cause of my ag­gres­sion on the court.

“I played last year’s (Zone VI) tour­na­ment with a dis­lo­cated finger, and we won. I think all things come into play,” he said.

While the Wolves util­ity player is al­most School can be de­scribed as the turn­ing point of her ca­reer, as the school soon of­fered Moyo a schol­ar­ship which, in turn, al­lowed her to both hone her skills and study fur­ther. That was in 2011. Her suc­cess story be­came telling there­after, as she bagged sev­eral na­tional tour­na­ment awards and gained ac­cep­tance from her fam­ily and friends.

Af­ter com­plet­ing “A” level in 2014, she en­rolled for her first de­gree in Mu­sic and Mu­si­col­ogy at MSU. That very same year she turned pro­fes­sional, join­ing Glow Pe­tro­leum un­der the men­tor­ship of Per­petua Siy­a­chitema and Sam Mas­vaure.

“I com­pleted my “A” level in 2013 and pro­ceeded straight to Mid­lands State Uni­ver­sity in 2014.

“That same year, I started play­ing for Glow Pe­tro­leum Queens un­der coaches Per­petua Siy­a­chitema and Sam Mas­vaure,” said Moyo.

Re-join­ing Mwenezi High School in 2016, but this time on in­tern­ship, she tem­po­rar­ily sus­pended her net­ball ca­reer be­fore re­sum­ing it the fol­low­ing year by joinin Plat­inum Queens. At Plat­inum Queens, Moyo is the player with the most ac­co­lades.

She has been named Player of the Tour­na­ment nine times and capped off a bril­liant 2018 sea­son by bag­ging over­all Player of the Sea­son at her club.

“Win­ning awards is a big con­fi­dence-booster for me, but more im­por­tantly, they give younger play­ers some­thing to aim for or em­u­late.”

THE BEAST HAS AR­RIVED . . . Keith Machakaire (cen­tre) has been mak­ing waves with his im­pres­sive vol­ley­ball skills, on the court, and un­matched work ethic off it.

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