Central Region Soccer League champions Sheasham have poured US$500 000 for the upgrade of Bata stadium which they intend to use as their home ground in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League next season.
Bata stadium was home to yesteryear great team from Gweru, Bata Power back in the 1980s and early 1990s but has largely been idle in recent years with Ascot stadium hosting premiership clubs from the city while Mkoba stadium has predominantly been used by first division clubs.
Work has already started at Bata stadium with the playing surface having been ripped open for the laying of a quality drainage system. The dressing rooms are being widened to meet modern standards while a sports bar at the stadium is also being upgraded.
Sheasham chairman Reginald Chidawanyika said they are doing the renovations in phases which see the facility being one of the best in the city if not in the country.
“We have a mid term lease agreement with Bata Shoe Company, so we are already done with the drainage system and we are now watering the pitch so that it will be in top notch condition when the new season starts next year,” Chidawanyika said.
“We are going to do the upgrade of other sections in phases. Work on the dressing rooms has already started and we are going to work on the media room, the VIP, the grandstand, the public toilets, the entrance booths and the parking space.”
Chidawanyika said they feel obliged to play a key role in the development of football and sporting infrastructure in Gweru by partnering other stakeholders to upgrade sporting facilities.
“For us Sheasham it’s not just about football but also playing a key role in the development of the community that we operate in. That’s why you saw us partnering Gweru Sports Club in upgrading the facility which had become an eyesore to the state that it is now. Now Gweru Sports Club is back to it’s former self and can now host football, rugby matches and other events.
” We are grateful to Bata Shoe Company for giving us this lease agreement so that we work together for the betterment of our city. A revived Bata stadium although we have exclusive rights to it, adds more options to our clubs in the city and surrounding areas. We will continue to do more towards sports and infrastructure development in Gweru,” added Chidawanyika.
Sheasham won the Central Region Soccer League championship title without losing a match in 26 games. They are joined by three other regional champions Simba Bhora, Hwange and Green Fuel into the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League next year.-CRSL Bulletin
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