SportAIDS kicks off with successful UZ gala

HARARE - The SportAIDS Project held its inaugural Sports Gala at the University of Zimbabwe which ended on Friday with the Faculties of Social Studies and a team of members of the Students Union winning the women’s netball and men’s football finals respectively.

The two-week University of Zimbabwe SportAIDS Gala saw the faculties of Law, Medicine, Social Studies, Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Commerce, Arts and NC 5 as well as UZ staff, compete in netball and football over two weeks culminating in the semi-finals and finals at the weekend.

The SportAIDS Gala was spiced with challenge matches in athletics and tug of war where University staff clashed with students as well as women’s football pitting a Zimbabwe Select, UZ women and Wrams from Glen View.

The men’s football final was settled on penalties with the Students Union team (Cdes 11) edging the Faculty of Law 5-4 on penalties after a pulsating 32 all draw.

University of Zimbabwe SportAIDS Project ambassador and spokesperson, Clarissa Regede said the Gala was a combined sports and HIV and AIDS awareness campaign.

Regede said while the interfaculty sports is in its third year, the involvement of The SportAIDS Project this year gave it an added dimension with the dissemination of basic information on HIV and AIDS.

The SportAIDS Project partners, SayWhat and the Jibilika Dance Trust, were on hand to disseminate information on HIV and AIDS through displays, exhibition and distribution of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials as well as dance and music.

Regede said the gala was made possible thanks to the support of health services company, Ultracorporate Medical Scheme (UCMS).

She said the SportAIDS project seeks to contribute towards the country's Mid Term Plan 2011 to 2015 with specific bias towards HIV and AIDS and Sports Development and Promotion.

It aims to contribute to the reduction of HIV incidence among youths through engagement of young people in various sporting activities as a vehicle of social and behaviour change and peace building by 2017.

This Gala reinforced the relationship between the University of Zimbabwe and The SportAIDS Project and is a first of many galas to be held in conjunction with the recently established University of Zimbabwe SportAIDS Club.

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