HomeSportShifting base pays off for Chipembere

Shifting base pays off for Chipembere

WHEN premiership returnees Black Rhinos played Monomotapa in the first leg of the Castle Lager premiership in the Harare derby at Rufaro on March 29, only 140 spectators paid to watch the match.

By Brian Nkiwane

But it was a different scenario altogether when Chipembere hosted Tripple B at their new home ground, Rimuka Stadium in Kadoma, courtesy of their sponsors, Savanna Tobacco.

Despite the fact that it was a mid-week encounter, more than 2 500 fans made it into the stadium to watch a match which was dubbed The Battle for Survival.

The Kadoma community, which has been starved of premiership football for a long time, flocked to watch the soldiers in action.

Rimuka stadium was last used by Gunners some seasons back, before they were relegated from top flight league.

The venue had turned into a white elephant since Kadoma-based outfit Eiffel Flats were also relegated from the topflight league some seasons back.

Rhinos had indicated at the beginning of the season that they wanted to use Rimuka, but the venue could not meet the standards required by PSL after an inspection by the grounds committee.

But the Kadoma City Council have since started renovations on the perimeter fence, dressing rooms and the press area and are also attending to the playing surface.

Black Rhinos coach Arthur Tutani said he was impressed by the number of fans that came to watch.

“Shifting base to Kadoma has been a brilliant idea for revenue. Imagine playing on a Saturday or Sunday, I think the stadium will be fully packed. What is left now is for Kadoma municipality to work on the turf which is a bit bumpy; as players were finding it difficult to string passes,” said Tutani.

His sentiments were echoed by Savanna Tobacco chief operations officer Tongesai Zvaravanhu who had travelled to Kadoma to watch the match.

“The turnout has been amazing. If I remember well, not many Black Rhinos matches in Harare have drawn such a crowd. We hope we are going to achieve our goals in revamping the stadium and make it a better place for the beautiful game of football,” Zvaravanhu said.

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