2014 sporting year at a glance

Simba Sithole

THE Year 2014 came to an end at 00:00hrs after a long sporting season that saw highs, lows, heartbreaks and title wins.

Thandiwe Moyo
Sports Correspondent

The year brought about the best and worst from some of the players, athletes and administrators. Here are some of the highlights:

Alpine skiing
Although not a known sport in Zimbabwe, Alpine skier Luke Steyn became the first athlete ever to represent the country in the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Steyn received a sponsorship boost through an agreement with Finland-based company, Makia Clothing. Steyn competed in the men’s giant slalom at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Centre in Russia.

 Alpine skier Luke Steyn
Alpine skier Luke Steyn

There were a few highs and a number of lows in this sport with long jumper Paul Madzivire, based in the United States, winning the Atlantic Coast Conference Indoor Track and Field Championships title with a leap of 7,70m.

The $20 000 PPC Zimbabwe Matopos 33-Miler ultra-marathon was successfully defended by long-distance runner Monica Kativhu in 4hr, 6mins and 47secs while Cephas Pasipamire booked a place at the International Association of Athletics Federation World Championships scheduled for Beijing, China, in August next year with his 2hrs 14mins 7secs and Nkosiyazi Sibanda retained the Econet Victoria Falls marathon title finishing the 42,2km race in 2hr 21mins 40 secs.

This year boxing was all about newly-crowned sportsman of the year Charles Manyuchi who won the World Boxing Council International Welterweight Championship after knocking Ghana’s Patrick Allottey out in the eighth round. He successfully defended eighth the title against Colombian boxer Devis Casseres at Lusaka Government Complex in Zambia in November.Charles-Manyuchi-with-the-ABU-welterweight-title-belt-(2)

The Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) circus raged on with players refusing to take part in the domestic league resulting in cancellation after cancellation of international matches. The disruption of the domestic league was linked to a $15 million loan from MetBank, the International Cricket Council assisting ZC with a loan of about $3 million.

National cricket team captain Brendan Taylor became the third Zimbabwe international cricketer to sign for an Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Sunrisers Hyderabad during the 2014 Pepsi IPL player auction while fast-medium bowler Tawanda Mupariwa joined Irish club Strabane.

Former Zimbabwe national cricket team captain Heath Streak was appointed the Bangladesh national team coach during the time he launched the Multi-sports Centre in Bulawayo.

Early this month Stephen Mangongo was fired as Zimbabwe coach eight weeks before the Cricket World Cup with Davenell “Dav” Whatmore replacing him.

A lot happened in this sport, as administrators and players alike grabbed the limelight for both wrong and right reasons.

The Zifa elections were one of the major highlights of the year which saw Cuthbert Dube retain his post as president despite drawing attention for alleged corruption at Premier Service Medical Aid Society where he was subsequently fired.

Dube beat former chairman and Harare businessman Trevor Carelse-Juul 44-14 in a rerun after the incumbent boss had failed to garner a two-thirds majority in the first round.

Zimbabwe Soccer Player Agents’ Association chairman Omega Sibanda was voted Zifa vice-president, taking over from Ndumiso Gumede, who did not seek re-election, Tavengwa Hara was elected to the board with Harare businessman Bernard Gwarada SuperSport and the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League (PSL) signed an agreement to screen more games in the past season and in March, Twine Phiri retained the PSL chairmanship over Keni Mbaiwa while Highlanders chairman Peter Dube got the vice seat.

Bantu Rovers paid $40 000 for the Plumtree Chiefs franchise to return to the PSL, but were sent packing after a dismal performance which saw them finish second from bottom.

Dynamos treasurer Webster Marechera was arrested in March for allegedly swindling $29 000 from the club with players boycotting training over outstanding signing-on fees, allowances and winning bonuses ahead of their match against AS Vita. Dynamos did not make it to the group stages.

How Mine made maiden appearance in the CAF Confederation Cup, but were knocked out in the second round of the competition by Bayelsa FC of Nigeria.

The Warriors had their moments of hits and misses when they reached the semi-final of the African Nations Championship. They lost to Libya 4-5 on penalties and lost out on the bronze to Nigeria.

The senior national team side courted the ire of supporters when they exited the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in the first round with Ian Gorowa quitting soon after.

In terms of sponsorship Highlanders and Dynamos’ BancABC deal was renewed while Delta Beverages unveiled a $3,6 million sponsorship package for the Castle Lager PSL with the $500 000 Chibuku Super cup adding to the number of Cup games.

Although not football-related, Delta went on to sponsor the Castle Tankard, pouring in $50 000 for the 52nd edition.

Madinda Ndlovu made history in Botswana by winning the be Mobile Premier Soccer League for the third consecutive season, this time with Township Rollers.

coach Madinda Ndlovu
coach Madinda Ndlovu

One of the country’s oldest sides Zimbabwe Saints were expelled from the Southern Region Division One League in May after failing to pay affiliation fees.

July saw the jetting in of FC Barcelona academy La Masia coaches, Isaac Orio Guerrero Hernandez (La Masia head co-ordinator) and Daniel Bigas Alsina (project co-ordinator) for a two-day workshop

Hwange were fined by Fifa for using Creven Banda without following proper international transfer procedures and had to pay 10 000 Swiss francs.

Dynamos successfully retained the Castle Lager PSL title after ZPC Kariba who had a dream run in the league, lost their last match.
Highlanders and Dynamos remained the clubs with the biggest fines this season.

Kudakwashe Mahachi completed a move to South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns with Simba Sithole joining Ajax Cape Town, Eric Chipeta at University of Pretoria, Warriors and US Major League Soccer side Los Angeles Galaxy, midfielder Joseph “Skippy” Ngwenya moving to United States League Pro League side Pittsburgh Riverhounds in Pennsylvania from Richmond Kickers.


Former Bantu Rovers midfielder Marvelous Nakamba, who was contracted to French side AS Nancy, joined Netherlands side Vitesse Arnhem.

Tendai Ndoro formerly with Chicken Inn joined Mpumalanga Black Aces while Highlanders’ Khumbulani Banda headed to the Absa PSL side Maritzburg United. Peter “Rio” Moyo another Bosso player, was briefly at Mpumalanga Back Aces, but settled at Witbank Spur with former teammate Cleopas Dube. Silas Songani formerly with Harare City joined Superliga club Sonderjyske in Denmark.

Football cup games
FC Platinum — CG Msipa Charity Shield, ZNA Charity Shield, Independence Trophy, Chibuku Super Cup Dynamos — Castle Lager PSL, Bob 90 Super Cup, TM Pick n Pay Challenge Cup Triangle — OneWallet Cup.

Coaches that quit
Football — Triangle, Gishon Ntini quit the club over monetary issues.

Lloyd Mutasa parted ways with FC Platinum. Masimba Dinyero was fired in April about two months after he joined FC Platinum.

How Mine coach Philani “Beefy” Ncube tendered his resignation in August making way for Luke Masomere.

How Mine coach Philani “Beefy” Ncube
How Mine coach Philani “Beefy” Ncube

Highlanders woes in the PSL were compounded when coach Kelvin Kaindu quit the club following humiliating 1-3 loss to ZPC Kariba in September.

Kaindu joined Triangle on an advisory basis with Mark Mathe taking over at Bosso.

Brendon de Jongé, Ryan Cairns, Sheldon Steyn and Scott Vincent were some of the most successful golfers taking part in tournaments such as the US PGA Tour Honolulu Hawaii, 2014 PGA Tour Latinoamérica Peru and Sunshine Tour South Africa.

South African golfer Jbe Kruger won the Golden Pilsener Zimbabwe Open for the second time at Royal Harare Golf Club.

England-based professional golfer Tony Johnstone was inducted into the fifth Mercedes-Benz Southern African Golf Hall of Fame for his contribution to the sport.

Mark Manolios returned to the helm of the Hockey Association of Zimbabwe board after being elected the president in September
Bulawayo hosted 15 teams from six countries in the Hockey African Cup of Club Championships at Kumalo Hockey Stadium in November with Kenya’s Orange winning the women’s category.

Zimbabwean female rower Daniela du Toit reached the semi-finals of the women’s single sculls at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China.

The National Rugby League must have been by far the most chaotic association this season.

Despite having been able to start the league it stopped midway following financial problems. It failed to secure sponsorship and was subsequently cancelled.

Old Georgians Sports Club, however, won the Storm Summer 7s when they beat Old Hararians 29-17.

In March Cheetahs captain Jacques Leitao conceded that they had failed to handle the pressure in their quarter-final defeat to Italy in the HSBC Sevens World Series qualifier in Hong Kong and in July Zimbabwe narrowly missed out on automatic qualification for next year’s 2015 Rugby World Cup to Namibia on points difference despite a 28-10 win over the reigning African champions Kenya in Antananarivo, Madagascar.

Former national rugby Under-20 player Shane Joubert received a six-year-ban by the International Rugby Board (IRB) for involvement in the supply of prohibited substances to two members of the Young Sables squad that participated in the IRB Junior World Rugby Trophy two years ago.

Zimbabwe’s top-seeded Under-18 female player Wendy Rudhu was been awarded a full scholarship at Bluefield College in West Virginia in the US while tennis star Cara Black and her Indian playing partner Sania Mirza lost out in the doubles quarter-finals at the Australian Open in Melbourne.

They again lost out on the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells in March to Peng Shuai and Hsieh Su-wei.

African Union Sports Council Region 5 Under-20 Youth Games

Bulawayo’s stadia were refurbished ahead of the African Union Sports Council Region 5 Under-20 Youth Games which were held early this month.

White City Stadium, Barbourfields Stadium, Luveve Stadium, Bulawayo Swimming Pool, Bulawayo Athletics Club and Hillside Teachers’ College were given a facelift.

Basketball and boxing received new equipment with athletics, swimming, football, judo, tennis and netball getting new electronic equipment. South Africa emerged winners with Zimbabwe coming second.

The saddest moment was the passing of legendary players. Warriors, Highlanders, AmaZulu and Zimbabwe Saints’ midfielder Nqobizitha “Humpty” Maenzanise died in February at the age of 46 after a short illness.

In March Former Dynamos coach and one of Zambian nationals Keagan Mumba passed away at 53 years of age.

Zimbabwean caddie Iain McGregor (52) died of a heart attack during the final round of the Madeira Open at the ninth hole in May.

Another football legend Max “Shaluza” Tshuma, passed away in May after he was admitted for five days complaining about sores in the mouth and throat.

Highlanders legend Tymon Mabaleka died in June at the age of 64 and in November former Warriors and Zimbabwe Saints striker Shane Khamal died in Auckland, New Zealand after battling with cancer for about four months.