Speaking on the sidelines of the launch of the Footballers Union of Zimbabwe (FUZ) fight in sport against HIV/AIDS, Mapeza, said that as a coach he does not only teach football but also imparts life saving skills. “We do not teach them football skills alone but also how to conduct themselves outside football,” said Mapeza, on whose shoulders the hopes of the nation in the quest for a berth at the continental soccer showpiece.
Football stars in soccer-crazy Zimbabwe are idolised and many youngsters look up to them as role models. However, with the fame and some modicum of fortune comes the risk of having multi sexual partners and consequently the risk of infection.
Several top players have succumbed to the ravages of the deadly HIV/AIDS pandemic. Mapeza said that these days players, even during their protracted stays away from home, are showing signs of change.
“When we go outside the country we always tell our players how to behave and most of the players demonstrate that they are adults. We encourage them to look after themselves and also their families,” said Mapeza. The United States Embassy, through the U.S. Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), announced it would give a $60,000 grant to support a new partnership between the Footballers Union of Zimbabwe (FUZ) and Population Services International- Zimbabwe (PSI-Zim) to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. The campaign is targeted at the unions membership, football fans and young people.Post published in: Zimbabwe Sports News