One Zambia pro Sports hub hosts a successful five aside tournament
Zambian Sports Agency, One Zambia Pro Sports hub held a winter 5-aside warm-up tournament at Fallsway Arena on Saturday. The event attracted 16 teams from all across Lusaka.
The teams were asked to pay K650 to join the tournament and fight for a chance to bag K8,000 prize money. The ZamFoot crew caught up with One Zambia Pro Sports hub Director Benjamin Upalo Siwale who shared the idea behind the tournament.
“We do a lot of Community projects, I mean we did the not just for kicks and we gave K10,000 kwacha to the OYDC girls and some jerseys. This time around our idea was to get people to pay K650 and put the prize money at K8,000 with medals and a trophy, The second-place team got K2500. We also donated some bibs, A set of jerseys and a K3000 to a Matero based club Black Boys,” he said.
“We picked Black Boys because it has produced a lot of Youth players the likes of Prosper Chiluya, Timothy Sakala, Steven Phiri, Denis Phiri both who are at Circuit City the list of endless. It’s something we passionate about at One Zambia pro Sports hub giving back. We approached Rowland Imperial Tobacco who were very glad to help as part of their community Social Responsibility. They bought the water, paid for the venue, Bought the training bibs and jerseys.”
Siwale expressed gratitude to Rowland Imperial Tobacco for coming on board to sponsor the event. He went to ask the cooperate world to consider partnering with his team for future endeavors.
“To be honest I wouldn’t say it went as planned but it was still a success because people had fun. At the end of the day what we care the most about is the athletes having fun which is one thing we neglect in the sports world. We care more about what they can do for us and not their needs. The athletes want to feel appreciated,” he said.
“The challenge is always sponsorship so it will be the sponsors and well-wishers out there can consider as next time. We are the only recognized organization that has hosted an international soccer coaching school for the youths. We brought in Prince Edwards from Zimbabwe and we used the OYDC training facilities. Like I said we have had networking events and we usually pay for them ourselves so today I would say hands up to Rowland Imperial for really coming through and making somebody out there’s day, ” he added.
National Division One side, Kafue Celtic entered two teams in the tournament in order to help the players relax as part of their preseason. Kafue Celtic proprietor Lee Kawanu who is also a praised the event as a good social event.
“It’s a good social event and maybe one or two of our players can pick something from here. Five Aside Football is intense and helps to teach how to press and how to make a quick movement,” Lee Kawanu told the ZamFoot Crew.
” It’s also a good way for our players to do something different and relax as part of the preseason so we thought of entering two teams and see how they will do,” He added.
The event is expected to become an annual thing a representative from the sponsors Roland Imperial Tobacco Roy Bryne told the ZamFoot Crew.
“One of the biggest things we have at Rowland Imperial Tobacco is giving back to the community and we feel that through all the events. We usually do Golf Tournaments but we started off with a Football tournament last year were One Zambia Pro Sports hub was also involved and we felt it was a good way not only to expose the brand but also help the community so we have continued,” Byrne said.
“This guaranteed will be a yearly project and if anything to will end up being twice a year because the goal is to do group stages and Knock out on different days. We can even host a different event on top of it. I feel that there is a lot of help to goes to the community like for this tournament we are going to support a team in Munali with a set of jerseys and a donation to help them buy some equipment needed by the team and if we continue doing this we can further help the community.”
Amigos beat Wakhanda Fitness in the final to win the K8,000 prize money. Lee Kawanu who is a FAZ Committee member was the guest of honor.
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