LEGENDARY former Warriors goalkeeper Japhet “Short cat” Mparutsa’s sports development programme is scaling up its activities following the successful hosting of a soccer tournament at Chitsere Primary School in Mbare, Harare, recently.
BY SPORTS REPORTER
Japhet “Short cat” Mparutsa (JSM) Foundation spokesperson Joseph Munyebvu said they were encouraged by the turnout and impact of the tournament they recently hosted. They are now hoping to unveil many such tournaments around Zimbabwe.
“Japhet is passionate about sports development and as the steering committee of the JSM Foundation, we were more than encouraged by the successful hosting of our recent soccer tournament at Chitsere Primary School in Mbare,” Munyebvu said.
“In consultation with Japhet, the JSM Foundation founder, we have therefore agreed to unveil more such tournaments around Zimbabwe with a view to scout for talent and reaching as many talented, but disadvantaged youths as possible.
Our Mbare soccer tournament was sponsored by Kwese TV and Dairibord Zimbabwe and we are grateful for such shared regard for community development by corporates, especially in this generally challenging environment,” he said.
The Mbare tournament was graced by football greats and ex-footballers such as George Shaya, David Mandigora, Stanley Chirambadare, Edward Sadomba, Stewart Murisa, Oscar Machapa, Henry Chari, Kelvin Mushangazhike, Elliot Matsika and development coach Bhekimpilo Nyoni as well as Zifa technical director Wilson Mutekede.
Speaking from his United Kingdom base, Mparutsa said he was encouraged by the strides made by his foundation to date and the support he was getting from fellow former players.
“My desire is not to do this alone, but have as many football stakeholders supporting the initiative so that together we impact lives and contribute to sport development.
“The support we have received from fellow former players has been great and we are really encouraged to continue reaching out and unveiling more such programmes to other communities around the country,” he said.
The foundation was officially launched last December and Mparutsa reckons their vision will add to the ongoing efforts in local sports development.
“Our vision is to assist and empower individuals, schools and communities with sporting-related resources to help them work towards their dreams,” he said.
Mparutsa wrote his own piece of history when he became the first goalkeeper to win the prestigious Soccer Star of the Year award while he was turning out for Dynamos in 1982.
Now based in England, he sources funds and sport kits, which have over the past two years been distributed to schools and underprivileged children in and around Harare under the foundation.