BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe – Programmes at the Zimbabwe Development Democracy Trust (ZDDT) are not about work only. Play features prominently too.
More specifically; by using sporting activities such as netball and soccer, the Trust provides residents with welcome relief from the predominantly work related initiatives it conducts in the wards with the cooperation of communities.
Although, due to logistical challenges netball has been slow in its establishment, the soccer component however, is up and running well.
ZDDT currently runs the programme in the form an inter-ward social league, though there are plans to upgrade to PSL and ZIFA supervised leagues in the not too distant future.
Chairman of the league under review is Cllr. Elmon Mpofu, Ward 9. He is responsible for the games’ coordination through producing fixtures and collation of results, besides attending to other essential administrative requirements that are of relevance.
Each Councillor in all the City’s twenty nine wards acts as patron to his or her particular team. With their Community Action Teams, Councillors liaise with the league Chairman in arranging games venues as well as attending to specific logistical details. At season’s end, the winning team is presented with a shield in recognition of their efforts. Under normal circumstances, ZDDT will approach the City’s Mayor to do the presentation. Winners of the shield in 2009 were Ward 7, Makokoba, which falls under Councillor James Sithole.
Readers might be questioning the significance of having such an initiative. The Trust introduced the programme for several reasons, chief of these being the intention to motivate residents into developing a sense of sportsmanship which in a real sense is one of the key pillars of democracy.
In addition to this it is felt that the initiative affords young residents with the opportunity to engage in gainful activities rather than resorting to criminal means. An added bonus is the fact that sport has both physical and psychological benefits.
The ZDDT Community Sports Programme is funded by ECEZ.