Rozaria Memorial Trust is grounded on the legacy of Vachijaka or Ambuya Rozaria who was a woman inspired by the desire to see women and girls living life to the best of their abilities. As a woman in a rural community, Ambuya Rozaria despised all the cultural odds and took part in sports at Magaya schools as a cheerleader, a treasure for the sports department and participated in the sports committee at Magaya Primary School. She had full support to all family members who participated in sports. Lessons from her legacy are drawn on the position that being rural a woman does not mean one cannot participate in sport. RMT anchors the sport component on the active participation of Ambuya Rozaria in sports. One of Rozaria Memorial Trust’s thrust is to build the girls’ self-esteem, leadership, teamwork and life skills for girls living in rural communities through sport.
As much as soccer is the most popular sport in Zimbabwe, in Africa and the world, it remains largely male dominated. There is an increasing interest in female soccer and in Zimbabwe the Mighty Warriors have been role models as schools and communities promote women’s participation in soccer. However, girls in rural communities do not get opportunities to take part and pursue their careers in sport. It is in this light that Rozaria Memorial Trust has been growing its focus on girls and soccer.
RMT hosted its first tournament in 2017 at Hurungwe Secondary School in Murewa center. The tournament had 8 teams competing which comprised of one team from Belgium. RMT won the tournament and took the trophy home. The second tournament was held at Magaya Secondary School in 2019. 15 teams participated and Simuka Upenye (SIYA) took the trophy. The tournament managed to cultivate talent in girls’ soccer which was one of its objectives. Eight girls were selected for professional soccer training during the tournament.
Over the years, RMT has been using soccer tournaments as a platform to advocate for girls’ rights and raise awareness on Sexual Reproductive Health Rights. The 3rd Edition RMT Girls Soccer Tournament will be heldthis year and it seeks to identify soccer talents for girls living in rural communities, improve Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights outcomes for young girls and women in rural areas, build self-confidence, esteem and strengthen teamwork amongst girls.
It is innovative and urgent for those working in development work; advancing social and economic justice and rights issues especially with young people to leverage more the power of sport.