A soccer tournament for the hard of hearing set to kick off at Rufaro Stadium in Harare tomorrow.
According to Muchafa Matipedza who coaches the national team and is a member of the Zimbabwe National Deaf Sports Federation, the tournament is aimed at selecting the best squad which will represent the country in a regional football tournament set for Botswana next April.
Matipedza said so far six countries had confirmed participation in the regional tournament.
These include Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho and hosts Botswana.
“We held the same tournament in Mutare last month and came up with a provisional 18-member squad and we hope to use the tournament on Wednesday to strengthen the team ahead of the tournament in Botswana,” Matipedza said.
“It will also help us to identify more talented players from various provinces in the country,” he added. He also revealed that they were facing challenges as hard of hearing footballers as most people are not aware of their capacity to play football.
“The problem we are facing is that most people are not aware we can play football just like any other talented soccer players.
“We are just like Dynamos or Highlanders and people should be aware that we can represent the country with pride and distinction. We also appeal to the government to be aware of this and be supportive in our sporting activities,” Matipedza said. He added that they were appealing to well-wishers and the government to help them with boots as they did not have proper kit.
“We do not have boots and are appealing to the government and well-wishers to help us with playing kit.
“We hope to go there and do well for our country. We have a very strong squad which needs just a few adjustments to come up with the final team.”