Zimbabwe entered the 2016 tournament with high hopes and ranked 29th. With mixed results in the first round, the team swept their second stage group to earn a place in the Men’s Shield competition. They lost to Wales by a score of 5-to-8 in the trophy match, ending the competition in 26th place overall with 72 goals to their name.
“I think before playing the games they have already won by coming here to experience something that is going to have an impact on their lives from now on. As the manager of the team, that is exciting to see because I know the experience that they have back home and the kind of life they are living,” said team manager Petros Chatiza during the event.
This year’s Zimbabwean team included a young man named Blessing Makirimira, who was born deaf. His teammates welcomed him with open arms, using their phones and learning sign language in order to communicate. “Many people haven’t actually realised that we have a deaf player in our team because of the unity,” said Petros. Blessing himself explained why attending the tournament was important to him: “I am playing for the inclusion of all disabled people.”
Team Zimbabwe 2016 (Men’s/Mixed)
|Blessing Mugove Makirimira||Player|
|Keith Tafadzwa Guzha||Player|
Young Achievement Sports for Development was formed in January 2005. They are a non-profit, community-based entity. They use football, education, and performance arts as mediums to reach children and young people with messages of HIV/AIDS awareness, substance abuse prevention, self-confidence, and other child and youth protection related issues.