Junior golf champs tee off

HARARE - The Matabeleland Junior Golf Championships teed off in Bulawayo yesterday with a new flavour of golfers eager to climb the golfing ladder.

After featuring in the Manicaland Junior Golf Championships a fortnight ago, athletes from Matsetso Stars Sport to Conservation descend on Bulawayo for the equivalent Matabeleland tournament.

Seven junior golfers will compete over 36 holes a day for five days.

Travelling alongside them will be their football side known locally as “The Young Stars”.

This is a team which, like the golfers came from humble beginnings, using rolled up plastic bags tied tightly together into semi spherical shapes as their first training balls in 2012.

Now, four years later these youngsters compete strongly with any of the local men’s teams in Chimanimani.

While Matsetso golfers ply the fairways, the Young Stars will be hard at work training at the Heath Streak Sports Academy.

The side will be working with the renowned football coaches at the Academy and playing a match every afternoon.

Matsetso Youth Club started with the help of tourists who continue to assist with football kits, school fees as well as running a feeding scheme for several of the orphans and child- headed households.

The club’s coach Jane High was grateful to the local Chimanimani community for assisting them.

“The first time I worked with these lads they were holding up their ragged shorts, always barefoot and hungry for food and for football.

That was in 2012. Since then, the only thing that has not changed is that they still laugh a lot!”

“There is a serious side to this - it is not only about sport.

The purpose of Matsetso Youth Club is to introduce children to their spectacular wild life heritage, in the belief that once children understand the role nature plays in their wellbeing, they will care enough to protect and nurture it.

“Hence the footballers will be spending time daily at the world famous Bulawayo Natural History Museum.

“Their evening schedule is also conservation — based on the David Attenborough series “Planet Earth”

Matsetso Youth Club

Lazzy Musarandega,Jose Tekesa, Weston Karenyi, Peace Mapuranga, Soloman Machikopa, Blessing Matonhore, Tendai Siyapeya, Unity Dzitiro, Desire Chikwee, Linward Semwayo, Pardon Masawi, Tapuwa Mandimandi, Taku Manase, Tawanda Zinyonyo, Donny Dzama, Panashe Muresherwa, Cyclone Matsunda, Tinashe Tom, Decent Mavhurana, Nomore Marumba, Lloyd Karenyi, Alex Mashava, Lowgiver Chigwadhi, Charles Chimene, Patisa Khumalo, Trust Matonhore.

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