Majabvi hails Copa Coca-Cola

HARARE – As the Copa Coca-Cola football tournament celebrates its 30th anniversary, former Dynamos midfielder Justice Majabvi has urged fledgling footballers not to take the tournament for granted but rather use it as a spring board to launch their careers.

The 30th edition of the grassroots tournament was launched yesterday at Rusununguko High School in Mashonaland East with Majabvi, a product of the tournament, who took his career to Europe and Asia gracing the occasion.

The former Warriors and Dynamos midfield enforcer lost to Churchill Boys High during the 2000 final when he was still at Nemakonde High School.

“I think this is a great project, we have seen stars coming from it. It’s one thing the upcoming youngsters, if they get, an opportunity to play should embrace with both hands,” Majabvi told the Daily News on the sidelines of the launch.

“This is a very big starting step in their careers and they should never take it for granted. From here, if you do well, I’m sure you can be recognised everywhere. Some of us, this is where it all started and it was a great starting point that went on to shape my career.”

Coca-Cola senior brand manager Vee Chibanda said the company is determined to continue making a difference in the youngsters’ lives while also revealing this year’s edition will see winners in both boys and girls pocketing the same prizes.

“This is Zimbabwe schools’ most prestigious and oldest sponsored soccer tournament, now in its 30th edition for the boys and eighth edition for the girls,” she said.

“The Nash-organised soccer tournament has made a mark on the lives of secondary school pupils, their families and communities throughout Zimbabwe over the years.

“It shows the lasting power of football and it reminds us of how far we have come. Indeed a very successful road with so much to be proud of.

“We hope and believe this tournament will continue to pay tribute to the junior players who have worked very hard over many years to attain the standards required to represent their schools and even their nation.”

Nash president Johnson Madhuku was grateful to Coca-Cola for their unwavering support for the past 30 years.

“It’s now 30 years of special relationship of continuous sponsorship and investment in the development of football in this country since school sport is pivotal and forms the bedrock or foundation for the development of sports for any nation,” Madhuku said.

“This sponsorship has been made even more beautiful, special and all-encompassing by the inclusion of the girls’ soccer a few years ago thereby breaking the hoodoo and barriers of gender segregation and marginalisation in Nash football.”

Rusununguko are the defending champions after beating Pfupajena High School in last year’s final to win the title for the first time in the school’s history.

Group A will see hosts Mandava High School facing winners from Harare and Manicaland in what promises to be an interesting group.

Group B will see winners from Midlands, Bulawayo and Matabeleland North facing each other.

In Group C, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland Central and Matabeleland South will fight it out for the big prize.

The girls’ category saw defending champions Chidyamakono being drawn in Group C alongside winners from Mashonaland Central and Mashonaland West while Group A will see hosts Zvishavane High facing Manicaland and Matabeleland South.

Group B will see winners from Midlands, Mashonaland East and Matabeleland North facing each while Group D was the pick in girls’ category after Masvingo, Harare and Bulawayo were draw to face each other.

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