GWERU – Former Caps United and Gweru United striker Collins Semwayo who is based in the United States of America (USA) is spearheading a drive to renovate the dilapidated sporting facilities in Gweru.
Through a group of diasporans whose roots are in Gweru, Together for Gweru (T4G), Semwayo says he wishes to see recreational space pride revived.
“Sport builds love and with the gesture, we would have foundation for love. Uplifting our roots is also equally important to us,” Semwayo said.
Sporting facilities have become an eyesore following council’s incapacitation to be servicing the respective pitches. A tragedy is also looming to the revival of the sporting facilities as council announced intention to sell Gweru Sports Club in order to create space for City extension on promise that they will relocate them elsewhere.
Speaking to CommuTalk, Botswana based T4G projects director Rodreck Chayamiti said their main aim is to contribute to community development.
“We want to make an impact by rehabilitating and upgrading the sporting facilities so we are going to do everything in our power to make this infrastructure better.”
“We are going to start off with improving the already available facilities but ultimately we want to build a big sports academy for Gweru, so that they can go as far as hosting international events,” Chayamiti said.
Ascot stadium which had been used for major local league games has become an eyesore as anthills are all over the pitch.
So iconic were the facilities that Hollywood star Denzel Washington and Sharon Stone came to shoot scenes in the area for the famous Cry Freedom movie in 1984 with Ascot stadium being used as a depiction of Orlando stadium and Mtapa which houses Gafa grounds being used as Soweto.
The Gafa grounds have also become an eyesore; a far cry from a facility that used to host Rhodesian international matches in the 1940s-1950s with teams from Britain, South Africa and other Commonwealth countries coming in to play in Gweru.
The late former Commonwealth Champion Langton ‘Schoolboy’ Tinago also made his debut at Ascot stadium which to date has not been maintained, and its glamour has become a mystery.
T4G is made up of people in different parts of the Diaspora with some based in Botswana, South Africa, UK, Australia and Canada.