ZIMBABWE national cricket team opening batsman Tino Mawoyo gives back to his hometown when he hosts a three-day cricket festival for children from disadvantaged communities in Mutare starting tomorrow.
BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
Dubbed the Tino Mawoyo Junior Development Festival, the programme, which is set to become a regular feature on the domestic cricket calendar, will be staged at Mutare Sports Club from tomorrow to Saturday.
Mawoyo said the festival would target children under the age of 13 from Mutare’s high-density suburbs of Sakubva, Chikanga and Dangamvura.
“The Tino Mawoyo Junior Development Festival aims to identify, expose, develop and foster the abundant cricketing talent in the province of Manicaland and other provinces across the country in the near future. This inaugural festival is part of a process to design a model that is both functional and effective at a national level,” he said.
Mawoyo, who recently captained the Manicaland-based Mountaineers provincial side to the Logan Cup title, said he was inspired to start the initiative after realising the need to produce more homegrown players from the province.
“I have been blessed to captain the Mountaineers franchise, which is based in Mutare, over the last four seasons, and it came to my attention after we won a competition in 2014 that I was leading a team from Manicaland that comprised of personnel that were not homegrown.
Manicaland has produced many great cricketers over the years and currently boasts three cricketers representing Zimbabwe.
“I have seen the untapped talent that is in high-density areas such as Dangamvura, Sakubva and Chikanga and current national team players Tendai Chatara and Donald Tiripano, who both hail from Dangamvura, are testimony to that. However, there are many more boys who come from these humble, underprivileged backgrounds that haven’t been given the opportunity to showcase their skills and that is exactly what I aim to do,” he said.
The festival will kick off with a motivational seminar which will be conducted by Zimbabwe national women’s team captain Chipo Mugeri Tiripano, who will take the participants through an introduction to cricket for the girl child.
The Sports Leaders’ Institute of Zimbabwe will run a career guidance seminar on the second day of the festival before an umpiring seminar run by Zimbabwe international panel umpire Jeremiah Matibiri.
The final day of the festival will see the participants taking part in a 15-over round-robin tournament comprising of four teams.