A former Abu Dhabi Harlequins player has launched his own sports management agency looking to unearth young talents across the globe and give those hidden gems, whose path to success might otherwise be blocked by financial difficulties, a chance to shine.
McMillan Chiwawa has established Chiwawa Pro Management and Marketing in his native Zimbabwe in a bid to help give back to the sport – an idea he said was partly inspired by the impact of playing at Quins had on him.
The 24-year-old lived in the UAE for almost eight years and played for Quins from 2010-16. He also spent a year at cross-city rivals Saracens before moving back to his homeland in 2017.
A lively winger blessed with searing pace, Chiwawa’s prowess saw him invited to train with the UAE national sevens squad under former coach Roelof Kotze. And although he never earned a cap for his adopted country, Chiwawa went on to earn recognition on the international invitational sevens circuit, plucked to play for the likes of Headhunters and Selects 7s in America.
As well as creating a player pathway link with his old club, Chiwawa has also managed to secure partnerships with Titans Rugby Club in Hawaii and two more clubs in the USA.
“Chiwawa Pro Management and Marketing focuses on athletes of all ages who haven’t had the chance to get that exposure on a professional level,” said Chiwawa.
“I’ve always wanted to give back to my Quins family as a lot of my success stems from the club. I had a word with head coach Mike McFarlane about a possible player pathway link and this idea turned into reality.
“Harlequins, Titans and two more clubs in the USA have given me the go ahead to start my search for talent.
“My pool of selection begins at home in Zimbabwe as I’ve been appointed as junior coach at Prince Edward School who are in the top three rugby schools in Zimbabwe.
“They agreed to host Harlequins juniors in the future if they ever were to tour over here and vice versa as they also tour yearly and playing Quins is in their plans.
“The player pathway link will help to give athletes a clear future plan in any part of the world despite economic difficulties and my drive is giving back to the sport of rugby and my long-time club Quins for the impact they’ve had on my life and career.”
Chiwawa’s journey will be documented by the Zimbabwe Broadcast Cooperation who will submit the project to London-based Zimbabwean businessman Strive Masiyiwa who owns Kwese Sports.
Chiwawa’s company currently represent Zimbabwe 7s rugby player Kuda Chiwanza and Zimbabwe cricketer Ryan Burl.
“My dream is to grow sports in my home country and anywhere else I can reach, with the Gulf being a solid destination on my map,” added Chiwawa, who praised former Quins player manager and team-mate Jeremy Manning for his help, and Dominic Budzisz, his coach on the American sevens scene, who has offered housing for athletes traveling to play in America.
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