The Annual Heroes Soccer Tournament held in Dete, and sponsored by the African Bush Camps Foundation was held on the 10th August 2013. Once again a resounding success, the Heroes Soccer Tournament bought together various communities from the surrounding areas of Dete in Hwange National Park to support their preferred teams and enjoy a day out in celebration of sportsmanship and talent.
The Dete Soccer league, is a ZIFA (Zimbabwe Football Association) registered league and this is the 4th year that the African Bush Camps Foundation has sponsored the tournament, held every August on the Zimbabwean four day long weekend celebrating the National Heroes and Defense Forces. The day started early in the morning with three Primary School’s from the Dete area playing a round robin soccer tournament. This gives the school’s exposure and the opportunity for the teams to gain experience as well as the senior teams the opportunity to interact with and encourage the school children. The Tournament is a great way for the community to bond considering how spread out the villages in the Dete are. Main Camp Primary traveled 12km to be there as did Chezhou Primary School and Mambanje Primary School travelled 15km for the event. Main Camp Primary came out the winners, and Mambanje the runner’s up but all three school’s received soccer and volleyball equipment for their school. Main Camp Primary School recently received soccer uniforms as a donation which they proudly sported for the day and Mambanje received a volleyball and soccer uniform donation on the day from Pembroke School in Australia.
Mambanje Primary School ran the tuck shop this year, with profits going to the school whilst the Secondary Scholarship Students came to assist with the event, umpiring the junior soccer matches and making and providing lunch for the match officials and visitors who came to support the event including the Malaba family from Bulawayo and Kurt and Vicki Baumler from Arizona in the USA.
Once again, the majority of the sponsorship for the day came from the Jane Bubear Sports Foundation, their third year of sponsoring the league. They now have a long standing relationship with the community of Dete, having supported and promoted sport in Dete for over 5 years. In the past, they have provided sporting equipment for the schools, soccer, volleyball and netball kits and uniforms, shoes for the sports teams to wear, without which the school’s are not permitted to compete in the inter-school competitions and have also assisted with much needed stationary and text books. It is wonderful to see a community come together for a day such as this with the young players being spurred on by the mature men that they look up to. The competition on the field is fierce, as well as off-field as the opposing supporters which cheer on from the sidelines for the duration of the game.
After the event there are general community celebrations and a great social to be had. It is such a privilege to be a part of a community which comes together despite being so spread out geographically. Especially considering the community themselves are facing so many challenges in their every day lives and yet still make the most of the event in such a positive way of bringing people closer in every way possible.
Thank you very much to everyone who made this day such a fun, safe and successful tournament, especially PDC and Dominic Nyathi, chairperson of the Dete Soccer League and MC for the event, Ndodana Masuku for organizing the prizes and coordinating the event, the school’s for traveling so far in their holidays, the Jane Bubear Sports Foundation for your commitment to sport and its growth in Dete and the Dete Community for their participation and incredible support.
To participate in the Soccer Tournament Event in 2014, please kindly contact Sophia@africanbushcamps.com