By Lovemore Ranga Mataire
An ambitious group of young Zimbabweans has come up with online scouting services for African students athletes called World Athletes Recruits (WAR).
Directors of WAR, Phillip Ndemera and Michelle Nyamayaro, believe that there is need to empower athletes to contribute to the socio-economic growth of the nation and Africa through sport.
The two directors said their mission was to provide service or platform that equitably facilitates scholarships and professional opportunities for African athletes from all walks of life.
“This is to be achieved through our digital marketing platforms and scouting events that increase the athletes’ visibility and marketability whilst also providing recruiting opportunities for all scouts, coaches and agents,” said the two directors in a statement.
The organisation works with school pupils aged between 13-20 years with the aim of equipping the athlete with requisite knowledge resources and any assistance they need in order to succeed as adults, professionals and students athletes.
As part of the scouting process, the organisation is holding its inaugural soccer tournament at Lord Marlven High School in Harare from 23-24 June.
Two coaches from USA are going to be part of the tournament. One of the two coaches is Ray Wells, the head coach of men’s soccer to Lindsey Wilson College. He is credited for being one of the most successful coaches in the history NAIA men’s soccer and holds the highest percentage of victories of all time.
He has led Lindsey Wilson to 23 NAIA National Champions Tournament post season appearances dating back to 1992.
Prior to becoming a coach, Wells was a student collegiate player at Appalachian State (N.C), earned All- Southern Conferences Honours in 1981. After attaining his Bachelor’s Degree in 1982, Wells was hired as assistant coach at Georgia Southern in Statesboro, Georgia.
The other coach to attend the tournament is Sicelo Remone Buthelezi who entered his first season as assistant coach with Lindsey Wilson soccer programme in 2016 and also serves as a recruiter for the team.
Prior to joining Lindsey Wilson, Buthelezi spent two seasons as assistant coach at the University of North Western Ohio. The two time captain led Blue Raiders to two NAIA National Championship in 2009 and 2011, while collecting a pair of Mid-South Conference regular season crowns and three MSC Tournament titles.
Buthelezi was a NAIA Second Team All American and NAIA All-Tournament Team Selection in 2013, a two-time All-MSC First Team member and twice All-MSC Honorable mention honors. He at one time represented South Africa at under-20 level during his playing days.
Ndemera and Nyamayaro expressed confidence that Zimbabweans will support their initiative whose thrust is to place Zimbabwean athletes on the world map.