Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
UNITED States of America-based Warriors’ fringe striker, Lucky Mkosana, recently held a successful six-team tournament for youths in his home area of Plumtree in Matabeleland South province whose main objective was to give underpriviledged but talented youngsters a chance to showcase their skills.
The six teams that took part in the tournament held at Plumtree High School were Bridging Youth through Soccer (BYS) Academy, Bhagane Academy, St Francis High, Marula Primary, Tshankwa Primary and Nyabane Primary. BYS Academy emerged the overall winners of the tournament.
“The objective of this tournament was to give underpriviledged players a platform to have fun while showcasing their skills, ensure members of the community have access to talent development initiatives and facilities in order to optimise their potential, facilitate sponsorships and scholarships for the talented athlete and to encourage parents and schools to support youth players and advocate for community development through sport,” said Mkosana who plays for Penn FC in the United States.
BYS Academy were unstoppable winning their first game 4-0 against Marula. In their second game they beat Bhagani 5-0 to set up a date against Tshankwa in the final. Tshankwa had won their group which had St Francis and Nyabane but found the going tough in the final which they eventually lost 0-2 to BYS Academy who had all the individual awards going to their players as well.
The Goalkeeper of the Tournament went to Marvellous Kwenda as the youngster never conceded throughout the tournament while Abednico Nkomo was voted as the Player of the Tournament.
“BYS Academy has partnered with Rush soccer, an America-based academy with more than 32 000 players and 85 clubs globally,” said Mkosana.
Rush has a programme called Rush Equipment Assisting Children (Reach) and Mkosana said he was the ambassador for the programme.
Rush players donate their soccer uniforms and equipment which are then sent to underpriviledged children around the globe every two years.
“My role is to oversee which countries need the most help in terms of soccer equipment. Next year we will be shipping uniforms to three African countries including Zimbabwe, three in South America and the same number in Europe and Asia,” said Mkosana.
This year’s tournament was graced by Rodwell Dhlakama who was the guest of honour.