BY STEVE EPHRAEM
“IT’S education through play! The moment the teams are doing sport, they will also be discussing important matters of agroecology and community development. Agroecology is all about increasing yields using farming methods that doesn’t harm the environment. And to achieve this, people have to be active, healthy and possess unity of purpose.”
Those were the words of Grace Gumba, the Sports Programme Coordinator of Participatory Organic Research, Extension and Training (PORET), a self-help organisation that operates from Chimanimani West and is based at Chaseyama.
PORET introduced sports in the communities so that they could be involved in agroecology while playing games. A football league was thus introduced for youth in Ward 2 (Mhandarume), Ward 3 (Chakohwa) and Ward 5 (Rupise/Hotsprings).
On Sunday, 7 May 2023, the teams managed to hold their 2023 first round finals which saw Chaseyama walking away with the trophy after beating Chakohwa in a do or die match. In addition to the men sides, the day saw boys under 15 teams and women soccer teams battle it out for mental wellness and fitness.
The spirit of unity that was showcased during the games is the one that helps communities to spread the gospel of agroecology. Moreblessing, a coach with Cossovo FC commented that “we promote agroecology as we play. Before playing each game, we first discuss topics such as planting trees.”
By end of day, it is not sport that wins, but agroecology. In essence, sports are a powerful tool that enhances agroecology awareness.