By Ellina Mhlanga in Chiredzi
Four-time Copa Coca-Cola champions Hippo Valley High School yesterday revisited their glory days when they were one of the schools that dominated the football tournament as they received a donation of textbooks from the sponsors. They first won the tournament in 1990 when they beat Prince Edward 1-0 in the final.
They were the hosts for that edition.
They went on to defend their title in 1991.
It was the same script in 1996 and 1997 when they had back-to-back wins.
And, yesterday, they were honoured for their participation and excelling in the tournament that is celebrating its 30th anniversary.
Delta Beverages regional sales manager Southern Region, Thembiso Muzvagwa, said this was part of the 30th anniversary celebrations.
“As we celebrate this milestone, we have found it prudent to pay a courtesy call to schools that have excelled in this tournament for a record four times,” said Muzvagwa.
“Today we are here at Hippo Valley High School the Copa Coca-Cola champions in 1990, 1991, 1996 and 1997.
“This school has done very well in producing football stars such as Harlington Shereni.
“As we look back and reflect in how Copa Coca-Cola came into being, we cannot help, but cherish the history of a tournament that started in Zimbabwe, as a way of attempting to discover and nurture soccer at grassroots level.
“Since then, the tournament has grown into a global tournament.”
He said they wanted to see pupils excelling.
“As we celebrate the Copa Coca-Cola at 30, we do recognise schools that have done well in the tournament over the years and we are here today to celebrate with one such school,” he said.
“We have brought a token of appreciation in the form of textbooks to let you know that your participation in growing Copa Coca-Cola is appreciated.
“We want to see pupils excelling in both academic and sports. That is why we chose to give you a token of text books which we believe will play a part in the lives of the pupils.”
The donation comes at a time when schools from across the country are preparing for the provincial finals.
And Hippo Valley province will be among the schools that will battle it out at Pamushana High School for the ticket to the national finals next month in Zvishavane.
Their coach, Colonel Dube, said they are ready for the provincial finals tomorrow.
“We are looking forward to this year’s edition. We have done well in our zonal and district games and we are now ready for the provincial finals.
“We feel motivated this time around, it’s an honour to be visited by Copa Coca-Cola and I believe we can do it once again this time around.
The sponsors also paraded the Copa Coca-Cola trophies amid a wave of celebrations by the pupils.
Hippo Valley headmaster, Timitia Chikomo, said the donation will make a difference for the school.
“For us it is a great donation and we are extremely happy to have been considered and recognised as one of the powerhouses.
“And we are promising that come this year we have to win this trophy.
“The books, in this age of the new updated curriculum, are going to go a long way in alleviating the problem of shortages and we are going to put them to good use and also we thank and appreciate that we are going to improve our results,” said Chikomo.
Chiredzi district schools inspector Shadreck Nyabanga, representing guest of honour, Masvingo provincial education director, Zedious Chitiga, said they are grateful to the sponsors for their contribution in the schools system.