FIRE Queens Youth Day Commemoration Girls Soccer Tournament in Mt Hampden was a heart-rending affair as the mostly barefooted players put in tremendous performances at the weekend.
Determined but disadvantaged young women took to the Kuwadzana Primary School field to show their determination.
Hosts Fire Queens went on to win the six-team tournament after defeating Celebration Queens 4-3 in the penalty shootout after the decider had ended 1-1 in regulation time.
The champions got applause for their exploits and a winners’ trophy donated by Fire Queens head coach Crispen Gomo while the tournament’s Most Valuable player, Fire Queens’ goalkeeper Prim Ranjisi walked away just $US1.
For coming in second place Celebration Queens received $40.
Mt Hampden Queens finished in third place, Glenara Queens in fourth while Anoti Queens anchored the log table.
“The tournament was a success, the crowds were awesome but it’s unfortunate that kids, teams and even mothers spent the day with dry mouths,” Fire Queens manager Tawanda Hillary Peters told the Daily News.
“There were no refreshments for the teams; not even transport money for the players.
“Others walked close to eight kilometres distances to and from the venue just to make it to the tournament.
“The idea is to create a platform where these girls from predominantly disadvantaged backgrounds can showcase their talent and be able to eke a living out of sport just like their counterparts in the urban setups.
“We are close to the new Parliament Building site, we can actually see it from our door steps and window seals and we pray that we will not continue to be overlooked in our quest to help the girl child live her dream through sport.”
Zifa women’s football administrator Theresa Maguraushe took time off her busy schedule to be with the players throughout the tournament as the guest of honour.
“She took time and came to share the day with us which is quite commendable. She was really impressed to see that even though most of them are from the poverty low datum they still turned up to make the day an eventful one,” Peters said.
“I think what got to her the most is how such a place with people who are below the poverty datum line could organize such a huge event using the very little resources at their hands and it still comes out a huge success.”