Manchester’s Alec Mudimu has been called up by the Zimbabwe national football team for a four-nation tour in Zambia. The 22-year old midfielder is honoured for the opportunity ahead.
Mudimu said: “When I got the news I was in shock and just couldn’t believe it - it’s not every day that a national team manager rings to tell you that you’ve been selected to play for an international team. When I shared the news with my sister and grandmother they were so proud that they were in tears. It was an emotional moment knowing I’ve brought such pride to my family back home.”
Born in Harare, Mudimu left Zimbabwe for the UK at 5 years of age and now lives in north Manchester. He is a staff member of The Factory Youth Zone, a charity-run youth centre in Harpurhey, and contributes his recent success to becoming a member and training in their facilities.
“Before The Factory Youth Zone opened there was nothing to do after school in the evenings and this led to me and my friends hanging around on the streets. We were young and naïve, often getting in trouble purely out of boredom. At this point, I was thinking of quitting football altogether and then The Factory Youth Zone opened nearby and provided me with an opportunity to continue playing and developing skills.”
Mudimu was 16 when he became a member of The Factory Youth Zone and was almost immediately awarded a football scholarship and a 12 month semi-professional contract with Stalybridge Celtic. And this season he joined Welsh Premier League club Cefn Druids, as a midfielder.
The Factory Youth Zone Youth Work Team Leader, Michael Phipps, explains throughout the years Mudimu has stayed connected to the centre and continues to be an inspiration to their members and staff alike.
“ Alec is an inspiring member of our team and we couldn’t be more proud of him for the strong leader he’s become. The young members at the centre really look up to him and admire his determination. He’s a role model for what is possible and it’s been an awarding experience for us all at The Factory Youth Zone be a part of his path.”
Phipps adds Mudimu is an exemplary representative of The Factory Youth Zone, embracing all aspects of the centre from the football field, to the gym, climbing wall, and support for well-being. He thrived in the ‘Learn to Lead’ programme at The Factory Youth Zone and advanced to a Support Worker role. Mudimu works on the targeted intervention projects challenge to change and junior choices, which help engage young people in positive activities using sport within the local community.
The Factory Youth Zone is grateful to Mudimu for all he has done to support young people in Manchester and is confident his presence overseas will continue to inspire them to do great things in their lives.
"Before The Factory Youth Zone opened there was nothing to do after school in the evenings and this led to me and my friends hanging around on the streets. "
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