As we rounded up the school sports year a year ago, we asked you to vote online for 2014 SSN Player of the Year Awards from a field of five female and five male national student athletes of note. We celebrated these talented young Zimbabweans at a ceremony held with their families and sponsors Mark Manolios Sports and Econet in January 2015. A year later we bring you an update on their achievements just before we open new voting for another year of accomplished student athletes.
Triple jumper Brian Mada, formerly of St Faith’s High School in Rusape, won the top male Player of the Year for 2014. In March this year, he travelled to Addis Ababa for the African Youth Track and Field Championships, where though injured at the time, he won a silver medal in the triple jump, Zimbabwe’s only medal of the championships. Brian is now studying at DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois on a full Track and Field NCAA Division 1 scholarship, where he is training for long jump and triple jump. DePaul continues a tradition of strong Zimbabwean athletes, having recently graduated Tonderai Tomu.
Lebogang Ngwenya, who was national in three sports – swimming, water polo and rugby – while a student at St George’s College, was last year’s Player of the Year runner up. Lebo had multiple offers to study while playing rugby at American universities. He is now playing rugby as a student athlete pursuing Business Management at Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia.
Mutare sprinter Ruvarashe Mzinde, who attended Hillcrest College, was the runner up for SSN’s female Player of the Year Award for 2014. Ruva coached at Hillcrest and trained during her gap year after A levels. Starting in August, she has been studying at Wingate University in North Carolina, where she is a proud member of the track and field team there on a Division 2 track scholarship.
Ratidzo Mutangandura was the youngest winner, taking the Player of the Year Female award while only a Form 4 student at Chisipite Senior School. She has moved to Malawi and we expect a bright future for this academic and sporty young woman.
We will be tracking these bright lights in the Zimbabwean sports scene with interest. Keep your eyes open for a new online ballot soon as the nation votes on 2015 SSN’s Players of the Year here on the site and on our new mobile apps.