Former Warriors full-back Harlington Shereni has invited his former international football colleagues from Europe and Africa to participate in a testimonial match on Saturday the 27th of June at the National Sports Stadium.
The Zimbabwe Warriors are expected to take on an array of current and former European league superstars and more are expected to confirm.
Some of these stars include, Lucas Radebe, Olivier Giroud, Oumar Dieng, Bakari Sagna, El Hadji Diouf, Pascal Feindouno, Steven Pienaar, Emmanuel Eboué Raymond Kallakongo, Bonaventure Kalou, Yakubu Aiyegbeni, Steve Mandanda, Marvelous Nakamba, Benjani Mwaruwari and Roger Hitoto.
This testimonial match is intended to help raise funds for The Harlington Shereni Foundation, which aims to provide talented youth the opportunity to pursue their sporting goals, and dreams while maintaining their academic studies.
Former Avant De Guingamp FC, Nantes and Strasbourg defender believes that one can pursue both careers being a football and also focusing on academic qualification and he even sighted local examples.
“It is possible to become a professional footballer and still pursue a university degree. Locally, we have examples like Dr Tauya Murehwa, a medical doctor who played for Dynamos while at UZ (University of Zimbabwe).
Even in the English Premier League there are people like Vincent Kompany and Cesc Fabregas who acquired university degrees while playing professional football,” said Shereni.
Shereni’s key motivation for developing a High Performance Centre is drawn from his observation that there is an abundance of skill and talent amongst the underprivileged but few have the opportunity to explore this talent. The centre will also include other sporting disciplines such as cricket and rugby.
“High performance centre in Zimbabwe will focus on nurturing talent and it will also include other sporting disciplines such as cricket and rugby.
“Throughout my career, I have observed that, most often, those that are able to pursue professional sports are those from wealthier backgrounds. For those from more modest backgrounds, they are unable to access the facilities or training that takes an individual to the next level. That is what the High Performance Centre is all about,” revealed Shereni.
The Zimbabwe football mother board have also thrown in weight behind Shereni’s dream of developing football at the grassroots level.
“We applaud Shereni for ploughing back into the community and as ZIFA we are fully supporting the idea of the testimonial match and building of High Performance centre,” said ZIFA board member Fungai Chihuri.
Shereni challenges other former Warriors players who played in Europe to use this opportunity to help the youngsters to connect with top European clubs.
“We have built a relationship with the European clubs and we must use that platform to open up avenues for the youngsters.
The testimonial match is set for Saturday the 27th of June and is expected to draw large crowds in support of the Foundation. Through the success of this event, Harlington intends on making this an annual event. Future events will feature matches against national teams or international football clubs.
Photo credit: www.lescanaris.fr