University of Zimbabwe (UZ) Wolves’ team manager, Norest Matambanadzo, stands as the county’s youngest team manager.
Matambanadzo recently called time off on his stint with the campus team and on his management career.
He resigned early this year despite an impressive 2019 season and zone six appearance from which the university team bagged gold medals.
For two consecutive years, the UZ Wolves under his tenure would settle for silver but at last year’s edition they bagged the gold.
Ordinarily, he should have been basking in celebrity status but he did the unexpected by deciding to call it quits.
At 26, Matambanadzo clearly has potential to reach greater heights and yet he decided to focus on another life.
He feels the gold is enough to show for his record and managing career.
“I had my time, had my moments, learnt so much as an individual and as a manager and now I believe my time is up,” he said.
“The journey has never been easy but I am happy because as a club we rose to be a force to reckon with and I have no regrets at all.
“It is through teamwork that I made a name. I would never achieve this in isolation. So all credit goes to them. That’s what a manager does — hold the team together.”
The youngest manager to serve at both the Harare and Zimbabwe Volleyball Leagues, Matambanadzo has pledged to volunteer for UZ Sports Department and assist whenever there is need.
Matambanadzo started playing volleyball in 2004 during his days at Uzumba High School.
Excelling both in academics and sport, he rose to be a star.
In 2010 after taking part in the Volleyball nationals at Visitation Makumbe and at a time he rode to stardom, he surprisingly hung his boots.
Finishing high school with flying colours, he enrolled for an Honours’ Degree in Administration at UZ in 2016.
It is also at that time that he trained and assumed referring.
“It is always good to explore all the opportunities. I enjoyed playing and it was high time for me to shift and find another avenue — face new challenges.
“It meant I had to take more hours of study and get used to late nights, so after lectures I would go for training and later at night do my assignments and study.
“I would never miss lectures or submit assignments late; for me it was sport but also time to prepare for life after the courts so my post-sport life had all to do with education, study.
“However officiating was not that fascinating for me so in a short time I left it for managing,” says Matambanadzo.
After a mere six months officiating, he quit and assumed a managerial role in November, 2017.
Matambanadzo was thrown into the deep end as his first task was the December 2017 zone six edition.
Much to the surprise of many, the young manager brought home silver from the showpiece.
In 2018, he led the team to the African Club Championships in Egypt in which they finished off on position 12.
During his managerial tenure, UZ also bagged the ZUSA, ZTISU, CUCSA (Confederations for Universities and Colleges Sports Association), Harare Volleyball League and National League titles in 2018.
In 2019, they had their second appearance in Egypt at the African Club Championships before bagging the Zone Six, ZUSA, ZTISU, HVA titles again.
“It should be more of a get-into-position, build up, deliver results and resign thing, not to cling to positions like most administrators in sports world wide do,” says Matambanadzo.
“It is good to engrave and leave a mark when people still need you. In fact, leaving should feel good, so I had to leave and make room for fresh blood.”
“Well, I have educational dreams to chase so time will tell what I will do after. But for now I am out.
“I can never do away with volleyball because it is my life. I will still be in the sport but in new ways because my wish is to see change,” he says.