The 15th of next month will mark a turning point for some rural-based children as preparations for the Orap/Zenzele Isuzu Rural Schools Tournament reach an advanced stage.

The tournament is meant to give children in marginalised areas an opportunity to showcase their talent.

Organisers of the Orap/Zenzele Isuzu Rural Schools Tournament have promised an action-packed fifth edition to be hosted at Gifford High School mid next month.

“We are excited to host our fifth tournament with rural schools. Since 2014, we have partnered with Autoworld in hosting soccer tournaments for rural schools every year. This year 14 schools with 14 teams are attending, eight boys teams and six girls teams,” said Orap chief executive officer, Mvuselelo Huni.

To give a rare opportunity for rural talent to flourish, technical experts of the ‘beautiful game’ will grace the event to assist in nurturing and identifying talent from rural areas.

“It’s amazingly important because they get the opportunity to play in front of technical experts from local professional teams like Highlanders and will have a chance to be selected into their junior teams,” she said.

As part of efforts to finalise preparations for the tournament, organisers held a fundraising breakfast in Bulawayo to rope in potential partners and increase their capacity to give a worthwhile experience for rural folks.

“We are also looking for contributions from many different partners as well and we would love to make this tournament bigger so that we are able to give bigger prizes to teams that win. So we are trying to raise enough finances and resources to make all these things a success,” noted Huni.

Apart from brushing shoulders with professional players, pupils from rural areas will also have an opportunity to interact and share experiences.