RUGBY runs in Simbarashe Chirimuuta’s veins.
Passion knows no limit and a 34-kilometre drive to and from his residence in the small town of Acturus to the Sunshine City everyday tells a huge story of how ready he is to defy distance to make his rugby dreams come true.
“I started playing rugby when I was in Grade 3 at Louisome Primary School. I then proceeded to Hillcrest College, Prince Edward and Churchill for my secondary education.
“I played schools rugby before I joined ‘Sportivo’ at the start of the season and teammate Stephen Hunduza was influential in my joining the team,” he said.
The Arcturus man did not disappoint in his first taste of professional rugby and it came as no surprise when he won the Rookie of the Year award ahead of Hunduza at the recently-held National Rugby League awards.
His telepathic partnership with veteran centre Daniel Hondo was a marvel to watch in a defining championship winning season for Harare Sports Club (HSC).
He said: “I saw it coming. It was an honour to win such an accolade. It has been a good season and I hope to continue on that path in the coming years.”
It is usually not easy to balance academics with sport, a situation Chirimuuta finds himself in as he is studying for a Diploma in Applied Information Technology at the University of Zimbabwe School of Technology.
Due to examinations, Chirimuuta missed selection for the invitational tournament in Namibia for the Sables but he contends he puts equal attention to both.
“My man, I always put 100% into both trades and it has worked well. I failed to make the team for Namibia because of exams, but I’m sure I will make it at the next tournament in Dubai,” he said.
The 22-year-old prodigy intends to represent the Sables and play abroad in the future, preferably for his favourite team and Super Rugby side, The Sharks.
In a season full of nail-biting finales, he rates the league semifinal victory over Old Hararians as his best match ever.
Chirimuuta credits senior players at the club and his family for the success he has enjoyed so far.
“The big guys at HSC have been awesome. From the coaches to the senior players, they have been patient and helpful in my career and I am grateful.
“My brother Shingi is a huge influence. He encourages me and I always want to do my best all the time,” he said.
Away from the rugby field, Chirimuuta, who is still single, spends his time listening to music and chatting with friends.
In a neighbourhood where football is commonplace, Chirimuuta has been a revelation and many youngsters now look up to him for inspiration.
“In Arcturus, all they think and talk is soccer. With my achievements this season, people are talking and appreciating the best that I have done and the youngsters are now taking some interest in rugby.”
A devote Anglican, Chirimuuta says he thrives on prayer.
His first engagement with top- flight rugby has been nothing short of memorable, but with age still on his side, rugby fans have not yet seen the best of this youngster.