Oracle Sport tackles drug and substance abuse in women football

For years, the girls in this community have knocked on the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) doors yearning for affiliation but their cries have bore no fruits.

FAST-GROWING local sports consultancy, Oracle Sport has joined the fight against drugs and substance abuse by supporting women's football tournament in the marginalised Mt Hampden community located at the foot of the New Parliament Building.

For years, the girls in this community have knocked on the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) doors yearning for affiliation but their cries have bore no fruits.

It is for this reason that through their able partner, Oracle Sport they have teamed up to form a local Mt Hampden Girls Football League which if sponsors were to come on board can keep the girls away from such vices associated with drugs, substance abuse as well as prostitution and child marriages.

The government has made a commitment to fight drugs and substance abuse by unveiling a  $500 million purse to compliment President Emmerson Mnangagwa's efforts.

“Drug abuse has become a menace in our society, which is a cancer that threatens the lives of many. Government, through its organs, is working tirelessly to address this problem and to win this war, we need to be united,” said Mnangagwa.

Yesterday, Oracle Sport in conjuction with local football side Fire Queens supported by stakeholders Herentals Group of Colleges, Unlimited Sports Equipment Suppliers, ARK Communications and Prestige Granites hosted an eight team girls soccer tournament.

The tournament ran under the theme Football; Girls, Women against Drugs and Substance Abuse. Kick Out Drugs for Brighter Future targeting those aged between 14-22 years.

"This tournament aims to promote awareness about the dangers of drug abuse among young girls while fostering a sense of unity, empowerment, and healthy competition. We aim to create a positive impact on the lives of young people," Oracle Sport marketing manager Blessing Chikadaga told The Standard Sport.

"In the heart of Mt Hampden, nestled at the foot of the New Parliament Building, there are forgotten communities which were birthed through agriculture and most of them have lived in the farm compounds from time immemorial. They have been forgotten for far too long especially in the fight against the drugs scourge, which at national level has taken the cosmopolitan and suburban character."

Chikadaga added that the girls in Mt Hampden  face numerous challenges that includes being forced into prostitution and child marriages due to lack of opportunities.

"In the shadows of the New Parliament Building, where the allure of power and progress looms large, teenagers from these areas are faced everyday with the harsh realities of life and the temptation to escape through substance abuse often becomes a harsh reality. Girls from these areas face numerous challenges, including the pressing issues of early marriages and the threat of drug abuse," she added.

"The compounds in which these girls reside have become places of both struggle and hope. Despite the limited resources and difficult living conditions, the spirit of these girls shines through their love for football as they refuse to let their circumstances define them. We have, therefore, decided to use their love for football to amplify the government's fight against drugs and substance abuse in order to create a drug free community.

"Together, we can help these forgotten girls reclaim their rightful place in society and create a future that is free from the shackles of harmful practices and substance abuse. The primary goal of this tournament is to educate and empower young girls to make informed choices about their physical and mental well-being, specifically by raising awareness about the detrimental effects of drug abuse."

One of the sponsors, Unlimited Sports Equipment Suppliers managing director, Reginald Mutaramutswa said his company will continue to support women and girls empowerment initiatives such as this tournament and the league that is being muted.

"A tournament of this nature provides a platform for young girls to come together, learn from each other, and build lifelong friendships. Through football and the tournament's theme, we instil   in them the values of resilience, teamwork, and a commitment to a healthy lifestyle," he said.

"The tournament will provide a safe space for them to grow and build tomorrow's confident leaders who will actively engage in community initiatives to raise awareness about the dangers of drugs."

Participating teams included hosts Fire Queens, Solar Queens, Glenara Queens, Konami Queens and Golden Stairs.

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