Zimbabwe: Black Rhinos Queens Make History

16 April 2021

Senior Sports Reporter

BLACK Rhinos Queens are on the brink of making history, after their name was submitted by ZIFA, as the country's representatives, in the inaugural CAF Women's Champions League.

Although no competitive football was played in Zimbabwe last year, and the women's league is yet to resume this season, the army side will feature in the new inter-club tournament.

The Champions League finals will be held in Morocco in November.

However, the participating clubs will first battle it out, in their zones, with Black Rhinos Queens, scheduled to compete under the COSAFA bloc, next month.

Seven teams will then qualify, for the final tournament, joining the hosts' champions, who qualified automatically.

COSAFA have already indicated they will roll out the tournament between May and August, starting with the preliminaries.

ZIFA spokesperson, Xolisani Gwesela, yesterday said they submitted Black Rhinos Queens name', to the organisers.

"We are waiting to hear from COSAFA, the dates and other organisational information," said Gwesela.

The club lost their skipper, Emmaculate Msipa, two months ago, when she joined a Spanish club.

Meanwhile, COSAFA and Sports Equity+ International have partnered to launch a Women's Leadership Programme in Southern Africa.

This will see 35 participants take part in a life-changing course.

According to COSAFA website, "the launch was headlined by Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, who co-founded the Motsepe Foundation with her husband Dr Patrice Motsepe in 1999, and remains a powerful force in business, philanthropy and as an advocate for the upliftment of women in society".

The five-month programme will empower women, already involved in sport, and seek to redress the imbalance, in what is still a male-dominated industry.

Leading experts, in the fields of corporate leadership, project management, governance, marketing and communications, finance, and the digital landscape, will share their experience in a four-module course, which will be broken down into 16 sessions.

It will run until August.

These will include Mayi Cruz Blanco, who spent 10 years as head of women's development at FIFA, CAF vice-president Kanizat Ibrahim, former FIFA development officer for Southern Africa, Ashford Mamelodi, and former FIFA sports lawyer Sanjiv Arora, among many others.

The launch was conducted digitally, with participants from 23 different countries on a new platform, which reflected the creativity of COSAFA, in these difficult Covid-19 conditions.

COSAFA president, Philip Chiyangwa, says the programme is another huge step forward for an organisation, which has long sought to provide a more inclusive environment for women, in leadership roles.

"COSAFA has, for many years now, been paying special attention to the nurturing, education and creation of growth opportunities for our women, both on and off the field of play," he said.

"The COSAFA Women's Leadership Programme serves as a new arrow in our quiver.

"Our newly-appointed CAF president, Dr Patrice Motsepe, has highlighted his support of fast-tracking women's football during his tenure.

"This initiative will go a long way to underpinning the president's intentions.

"I would like to thank our partners in this project, from Sports Equity+ International, for approaching COSAFA to collaborate on this important work and we look forward to moving forward with them on this ground-breaking initiative."

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