PAMUSHANA High School — arguably one of the oldest schools in Masvingo province in particular and Zimbabwe in general — has for the past several years been credited for both sporting and academic excellence.
By Nyambira Chivasa
The Reformed Church in Zimbabwe-run institution, which was built in 1901, has affirmed itself as one of the greatest producers of football greats as well as excelling in academic studies.
But what has been the secret behind their success in both sports and academic studies?
The man at the helm of the institution, Johnson Madhuku, has been behind all this success.
Standardsport had a chance to speak to Madhuku who has seen his school dominate the National School Heads (Nash) football tournaments having won it in 2007 before losing in the finals of 2012 to Mzingwane High School of Bulawayo.
Despite failing to make it in the other years, the school has been doing very well.
Madhuku attributed the sporting success to his highly qualified and competent staff.
“We have distinguished ourselves as a school of both academic and sporting excellence. This has been achieved because we have staff that is highly committed and motivated. We are cognisant that not all students are gifted academically, so we help them realise their talents in sport,” said Madhuku.
He added: “Our timetable is designed in a manner that allows students to have enough time for sports as well as academic studies. Our lessons end at 3:30pm every day and from there we start training until 5pm. We also have studies from 5pm to 8pm and we also do sport training on Saturdays. This is possible because we are a boarding school.”
Ample time given to children to realise their sporting talents has seen the school featuring in most major competitions that include Nash, the Copa Coca Cola tournaments and many others.
Recently, the Pamushana High school netball team walked away with U$4 600 prize money after winning the Stella Tea National Association of School Heads having beat provincial rival Mwenezi High School 38-12 in a thrilling Under-17 national finals held in Kariba.
The school was presented with a trophy and medals after successfully defending the Cup three times in a row.
Madhuku hinted that if resources permitted, the school had the capacity to own a premiership club.
“We have been reluctant to have a team in the premiership because we realised we wouldn’t be able to fulfill fixtures due to limited resources, [but] with enough support, we can have a team in the premiership.”
The headmaster pointed out the need for a multi-purpose sports facility which would cater for all sporting disciplines at the school.
“It is our wish to build a multi-purpose sporting arena at the school to cater for every sporting discipline. We want every child to have a sport they can participate in. This, we cannot achieve without the support of individuals and the corporate world,” pleaded Madhuku.
“We have managed to produce very good players who are playing in various teams in the country, like Highlanders striker Gabriel Nyoni and former Chicken Inn striker Marshal Marima who is now with Eastern Region Division One outfit Masvingo United, just to name a few.”
Madhuku, who has been headmaster at Pamushana for 17 years, boasts of vast experience in sports administration.
He has been Nash president for a record six years. He is also the current president of Confederation of School Sports Association of Southern Africa (Cossasa).
Cossasa is a sports association of all primary and secondary schools in the Sadc region which takes care of all 12 Sadc countries namely Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Angola, Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania and Mauritius.