The Zimbabwe Homeless World Cup team received a major boost to their preparations for the 2017 edition to be hosted in Oslo, Norway. The team received a received tracksuits from Thabo Khumalo, the Director of Khumalo Foundation, a non-profit making organisation which supports developmental football projects. Mr Khumalo is also a Youth Academy Coach for Swansea City in the UK.
The tracksuits were presented to the team during their practice in Hatcliffe Extension where Mr Khumalo took time to encourage the team to live positive lives and stay away from drugs and behavior which will see them not fully realizing their potential. He also took the team through their drills and paces as he shared with the team new coaching techniques .The training session attracted hundreds of residents of the Hatcliffe Extension community who were urging the players on.
Thabo Khumalo had an opportunity to watch the 2016 team perform in Glasgow, was impressed with the talent the young Zimbabwean team had, which led him to come on-board and support the development of grassroots soccer projects which are the bedrock of the selection of the Zimbabwe Homeless world Cup team.
Speaking at the tracksuit handover ceremony Khumalo said, “The skill and talent is there, what is just need is further refining, I don’t see the reason why these young people cannot break into top flight leagues such as the Premier League . The support we have given is a small but we hope it will keep the team motivated to play their hearts out in Oslo”.
The Zimbabwe team comprises of young people from various grassroots soccer teams and individuals who have been identified and nurtured by YASD a sports for development youth organisation that focuses on developing young people through education assistance and social reintegration. Through the YASD sports training programs various local developmental teams have received equipment support and mentoring which has resulted in the players becoming highly talented and motivated to represent the country in the Homeless World Cup.
One of the team members Simon Manonga in a vote of thanks to the Khumalo Foundation for the donation promised that the team will play their hearts out to lift the country's flag high. Manonga also urged other corporates to also come on board as the team is still fundraising for air fares. The Homeless World Cup is a global street soccer tournament which is hosted annually in various countries that are partners. The tournament gives an opportunity to homeless, socially excluded and ostracized young people to showcase their talents in the Street soccer tournament. The 2017 edition will be held in Oslo, Norway from 29 August -05 September 2017.