Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
WITH the zonal finals of the 31st edition of the country’s premier schools soccer tournament, COPA Coca-Cola set to be played next week, the Zimbabwe National Soccer Supporters’ Association (ZNSSA) have made a passionate plea to support the athletes.
Carlmarx Nkomo, the ZNSSA vice-president said football supporters, parents in particular have a responsibility to uplift their children by supporting their school activities.
“COPA Coca-Cola should be hailed for providing a platform for most of the football stars we celebrate today. Now the responsibility is with parents, the community to support these kids and encourage them whenever they play starting from the cluster levels up to the national finals. We want these kids playing COPA Coca-Cola to feel the love through the support we give them so that they can have self-belief and scale to better heights. Just look at how parents support kids at elite schools, it’s quite encouraging and boosts the youngsters’ self-esteem,” Nkomo who attended the launch of this year’s tournament in Masvingo said.
After the zonal qualifiers, schools will head to the district games which will be played on June 7, with the provincial finals set for June 27 and 28.
The winners of provincial championships will represent their province at the national finals to be held in Mashonaland West Province.
The national finals host schools are Rimuka 2 High for the boys’ finals and Jameson High for the girls.
Pamushana are the boys’ defending champions after defeating Guinea Fowl of Midlands 2-0 in last year’s final and reigning girls’ champions are Nyamauru of Manicaland who beat Bulawayo’s Mpopoma High School 2-1.
National finals Groups
Group A: Matabeleland South, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland West.
Group B: Masvingo, Manicaland, Harare.
Group C: Host School, Matabeleland North, Bulawayo.
Group D: Pamushana High School, Mashonaland East, Midlands.
Group A: Mash West, Midlands, Matabeleland South.
Group B: Manicaland, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East.
Group C: Host School, Bulawayo, Harare.
Group D: Masvingo, Nyamauru High School, Matabeleland North.