Albert Marufu in LONDON, EnglandCAPS United great Mpumelelo Dzowa will be the guest speaker at this year’s edition of the CAPS United UK Legends Soccer Night and Dinner Dance scheduled for Wolverhampton, England, on December 8. The CAPS United Legends UK Dinner dance, whose aim is to raise funds for grassroots football development in Zimbabwe, is the brainchild of former CAPS United skipper Joe “Kode” Mugabe who is the chairperson.
Other members of the executive include Frank “Dealer” Nyamukuta, Artwell Mabhiza, Timothy Chirozvani, Cannisius Tongesai, Tichaona Nyenda, Leonard Chirozvani and Charles Chikeya.
The organisation’s treasurer Timmy Chirozvani confirmed that the United States-based Dzowa is part of a cast that also includes former radio and television personality Erick Knight, who is the Master of Ceremonies, award winning disc jockey Alfred Munhenga and Heritage Survival Band.
“The aim of the event is to connect ex-footballers and raise funds for grassroots football development in Zimbabwe. With the coming in of the new dispensation in Zimbabwe, it is our hope that we can also play a part in bringing fresh ideas in football.
Being our third year of carrying out this event, we hope to make it more exciting.
“We have secured a new venue with a secure car park and have been promised some assistance from the corporate world. We also have the likes of Erik Knight and yesteryear footballers such as the guest speaker Mpumelelo Dzowa, who is coming all the way from the United States, Memory Gwenzi Mucherahowa, Maxwell Dube, Charles “Star Black” Kaseke and many more who will be in attendance and free to share their experiences and answering any questions the revelers might have,” Chirozvani said. Chirozvani added that it is his hope that in future similar events will be carried out in countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia and Zimbabwe where other ex-footballers are based.
“We are improving with each year and we aim to hold the event one day in Zimbabwe where we can incorporate ex-footballers based in Zimbabwe with experience of what is on the ground,” he said.
Speaking from his United States base, Dzowa called for more support from the clubs.
“Why do people expect so much from former players when nothing is saved from their playing days? I believe it is a matter of availability of resources. There is an overflow of the will-power to make a difference as evidenced by the formation of academies and fundraising gigs.
“Football is a lifestyle, players will do everything possible to remain in the structures. Sadly, resources are limiting. After our retirement, most focus on daily bread and butter issues for their families and junior policy is never an issue.
I hope the (new) Minister of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recreation, Kirsty Coventry, reads and addresses the welfare of retiring sportsman.
“After all, she should understand my appeal,” he said urging all former sports personalities to forge an alliance dedicated to championing our own welfare.
Dzowa added that there is need for bringing back to life Premiership’s leagues for junior and reserve teams, schools, youth clubs and mines football programmes because academies seem to be struggling to fill the void in Zimbabwe.
He added that being a former footballer should not be the vehicle for one to be in leadership structures, but just an added advantage.
“The new Minister of Youth, Sports, Arts, and Recreation, Coventry, is a perfect example. Leadership is a different ball game; the required skill set cannot be transposed from the field by populism. The world over, leadership selection is on merit. Who are we to ignore that?
“However, the football playing experience should be an added advantage for former players in leadership positions for obvious reasons. ZIFA has structures that facilitate for players to graduate into coaching.
I propose they do the same and provide a channel to empower those with administration potential. FIFA has existing structures and goodwill to fund such programmes,” Dzowa said.
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