FIREWORKS are expected at Raylton Sports Club where eight Bulawayo women’s soccer teams will battle it out in the second edition of the Thembalethu soccer tournament tomorrow.
Thembalethu Foundation chairperson Fungai Nyamutukwa-Mpfeka said they had prepared well for the tournament that will also feature some Mighty Warriors and Bulawayo-based male legends.
“We have prepared for an exciting tournament and appeal to fans to come and witness some entertaining football.
“This year’s edition promises to be more competitive,” said Nyamutukwa-Mpeka, herself a former Mighty Warriors player and manager.
This year’s tournament is running under the theme “Change lives and bring hope to Girls through Football”.
Defending champions, New Orleans are in Group B alongside Sobukhazi, Black Boots and ZRP Bulawayo, while Inline Academy are the seeded team in Group A, which also has Magwegwe Stars, Ubuntu and Highlanders Royals.
Inline missed last year’s edition as they were involved in another tournament and go into tomorrow’s event as one of the favourites.
The top two teams in each group will advance to the semi-finals.
Winners of the tournament will get two sets of playing kit and a trophy, while all semi-finalists will each get a complete 16-set playing kit. Thembalethu Foundation has also invited a team comprising former Mighty Warriors’ players, Bulawayo-based football legends, Baker’s Inn and Sports Journalists’ Association (Spoja) Southern Region as curtain raisers to its tournament.
The foundation believes the curtain raisers will help draw a crowd of about 2 000 girls to tomorrow’s event, which opens with a life-skills conference before the football.
Former Mighty Warriors players will play against Bulawayo football legends, while the journalists will take on Baker’s Inn.
Meanwhile, former Highlanders’ goalkeepers’ coach Cosmas “Tsano” Zulu has donated sanitary pads to all the eight women’s teams through his C Zulu Tsano Sanitary Pads Movement. – @innocentskizoe