A FOOTBALL team, sponsored by the Anglican Church in Zimbabwe, has been launched in Harare.
The team, Anglican Saints, is recruiting players, and the Church is also setting up a diocesan netball team for girls.
The Rt Revd Chad Gandiya, who retired this month as Bishop of Harare, said that the new teams were intended to give young people something to do, and help them to build positive relationships.
“The diocese formed a diocesan soccer league for young men, and a diocesan netballer league for women,” he said. “Many young people have nothing to do. These leagues were formed for fellowship and building relationships in the diocese, for exercise and providing recreation for youths, men, and women in the diocese, and for evangelism through sport.
“People are excited about it. There is good will in the diocese. The current economic situation in the country is a drawback, as it affects the financial support for the team. Who knows: God willing, soccer stars who love God and love the game will be born out of this humble beginning. We are blessed in the diocese in having people with the relevant needed skills.”
Anglican Saints has been launched in Mashonaland East Division Two, but it hopes to climb through the leagues quickly. It will eventually form part of the new diocesan university being built in Mashonaland East.
The Zimbabwean football season runs from April to November. The chairman of Anglican Saints, Jonh Remba, told The Herald newspaper in Zimbabwe that the side would be holding trials to recruit 28 players for the season.
“The motive is to keep our youths busy with sport and stay away from drugs and alcohol abuse,” he said. “The team is owned by the Church, with the sitting bishop as the patron of the club.
“We intend to have 70 per cent Anglicans, and at least 30 per cent who can come from any other congregations. Our mission is to play in the top-flight in the next two seasons or so, with our immediate task being to make sure that we qualify for Division One.”