The Zimbabwe Independent

Mabikachec­he: Death will not mark end of his dream


“The future of the sport of golf is in its juniors. Through the Mabikachec­he Rural and Urban Sports Promotion (MARUSP), we are making golf a sport for all. Everyone now has the opportunit­y to learn how to play it. It doesn’t matter whether they are underprivi­leged or living with a disability, we believe in their right to participat­e in the sport.”

Tavenganis­wa Alias Mabikachec­he (1952-2021) always had a dream: to promote sports in under-resourced communitie­s and thereby empower youths that have hidden, untapped sporting talent to unlock opportunit­ies that can improve their wellbeing.

Hailing from Chipinge in south-eastern Zimbabwe, a rural area of mixed fortune, most of it remote and arid, he saw how youths in the area were cut off from happenings in urban areas where their counterpar­ts had access to a variety of sports facilities.

He realised that the youths growing up in rural areas were no less talented than those in urban areas. It was just that they had no access to several sports such as golf which are normally deemed elite.

He knew from the onset that it was possible to produce champions from children leaving in the remotest parts of the country.

In 1999 he set on a journey to fulfil his dream of creating Olympians from underprivi­leged folk living in the communal areas.

He founded MARUSP as the vehicle through which he would accomplish it.

In the space of only five years MARUSP Golf Foundation was awarded the Best Golf Developmen­t Programme by the Zimbabwe Golf Associatio­n in recognitio­n for the work done to expand the sport in the country and the new pipeline of talent it produced.

In the same year the Annual National Sports Awards (ANSA) awarded Mabikachec­he a special award for promoting golf in all communitie­s

That brought more impetus to his outreach programme to touch every crook and cranny of Zimbabwe so that no community would be left behind.

At the time of his passing he had travelled a 20-year journey in which he set up seed golf committees in nearly every district in the country from Chipinge to Binga in the Zambezi Valley.

He believed MARUSP was poised to become the leading sports developmen­t programme in Africa.

The journey had been exciting but also very challengin­g. Exciting was the fact that some MARUSP products have turned profession­al golfers and while dozens others are on the verge of achieving the same.

At the time of death he was grappling with funding which had become a major challenge. MARUSP had not been able to fully spread its wings in some areas at the rate it envisaged due to limited funding from sponsors amid the volatile economic conditions in Zimbabwe.

It is hoped his death will not mark the end of his dream.

Mabikachec­he had inculcated the same passion for golf as his own into his children who it is hoped will carry forward the dream. —

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