The year 2020 was an unforgettable year as the ravaging COVID-19 caused a hiatus in many activities including sports. Football just like many other sectors was hard hit by the pandemic and two years down the line some clubs are still to recover from the effects with attendances at the stadiums also having dwindled.
Amid all the gloom and uncertainty that engulfed Zimbabwe and the world, a football team was born in Kwekwe district rural area of Zhombe in the Midlands Province and in less than two years, it has gained promotion into the Ruvimbo Funeral Central Region Soccer League.
Named Colombina FC, an Italian name which means a ‘little dove’, the team is the pride of the Colombina community which can’t wait to host the big names of Ruvimbo Funeral Central Region Soccer League such as Chapungu, TelOne, Tongogara, ZPC Munyati among others at their rural base when the season starts in March.
Club secretary general Allen Shoko paid tribute to local entrepreneur Baron Machipa for conceiving the idea of having a football team in the area.
“We are a product of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the lockdown, Baron Machipa came up with an idea of people meeting at the fields to loosen up and exercise so as to keep our immune system strong from COVID-19 attacks,” Shoko said.
“So it became routine and the idea of playing football came about. It was also a way of monitoring the youths of the area because the fear was that if they become idle for too long they might end up indulging in criminal activities and drug abuse. So from that we realised that we have a lot of talented youths and we decided to go for the kill and registered in the ZIFA Division 2 League. We had a clean sweep, finishing first in the league without a defeat and gained promotion into the Ruvimbo Funeral Central Region Soccer League.”
Shoko said they are looking at building a foundation for the team by having a sound developmental project tapping in from the communities in Zhombe.
“We want our participation in the Ruvimbo Funeral Central Region Soccer League to put Colombina community and other surrounding communities from Zhombe in the limelight. Football is a vehicle for ecenomic development because with more teams coming to our side, it creates downstream employment for our locals. We want something that inspires our youth.”
“To this end we intend to partner with some surrounding secondary schools such as Sidakeni High School, Bee Mine Secondary School and Nyaradzo High School all surrounding Colombina. In a few years time, we would have benefited from these partnerships. Going into the 2023 season our main focus is establishing ourselves in the league and build a foundation for future onslaught on the league title.”
Colombina FC which is fondly known as FC Colo in Zhombe will be using Rio Tinto stadium as their home ground. The team is bankrolled by Machipa who is the chairman with Nicholas Mahogo as the patron and Kezia Jeko Tazviona as the treasurer. The Ruvimbo Central Region Soccer League 2023 season begins on 18 March.
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