Allen Khumalo, Sports Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Women’s Soccer League (ZWSL) has launched the Insiza District Women’s Soccer League comprising 29 secondary schools.
Speaking at the launch at Nkankezi Secondary School on Sunday ZWSL vice-chairperson Samukeliso Silengane said the move is part of her association’s plans to develop the women’s game at grassroots level, hence the move to rural areas.
“Insiza district is a very big place so these schools will be divided into two leagues, League A and League B. What’s left is for the league to affiliate with us so that they get recognised by Zifa. Once that is done, we will conduct some coaching courses for teachers and community members interested so that they get the whole idea of the sport,” said Silengane.
“The objective is to assist the girl child in developing herself physically and mentally in football. There is plenty of talent that needs to be nurtured and through this league we know that there will be action at grassroots level. Due to the fact that during the school terms the schedule will not allow teams to play weekly, they have agreed to play once a month. It’s better that way than not having any games at all,” she said.
Silengane said she was impressed with goalkeeping talent that was displayed during a tournament at Nkankezi Secondary, which featured Filabusi Secondary, Sebatha Secondary and Southern Region outfit New Orleans.
“From what I gathered, the standard of football in rural areas is higher and they just need more activities. The dedication from teachers and these girls was overwhelming. If we continue with promoting soccer at grassroots level, the girl child will be put in the limelight, which will attract some sponsors. It has to be known that rural folks are also active in football and they can play better than urban teams,” Silengane said.
She appealed for sponsorship from the corporate world saying they should not look down upon the girl child as they can play football just boys.
She said ZWSL would be creating grassroots leagues in rural areas across the country so that “our girls remain active all year round”.