FROM ZIMBABWE TO BRISBANE TO PLAY AUSSIE RULES - THE BERG FAREWELLS A CHARACTER!
Australian Football is our home grown game and is our most popular football code, but it is not a major sport in any other country.
However, the footprint is expanding and attracting interest overseas and no better example is Western Magpies footballer Tadiwa Parirenyatwa, all the way from Harare, Zimbabwe.
A Zimbabwean Under 20 rugby representative, he is a tall young man and played at lock in a match in which his Zimbabwe team went down to England by only 2 points. This was the highlight of a promising rugby career.
"Uncle Pari" or "Hot Sauce", as he was soon nicknamed at the Pies, found AFL on the TV a few years ago and was immediately hooked on the game. He could not believe the athleticism and all-round skills of AFL players and decided he wanted to play the game himself.
Only one problem--there is no AFL played in Zimbabwe.
So what do you do? You arrange to study in Australia and that is what Tadiwa did -- he came to Brisbane a few years ago and enrolled in a Property Economics degree at QUT and soon met former Magpies co-captain Callum Carseldine and he was invited to Chelmer to try out for the Pies.
Tadiwa was instantly hooked and unfortunately while still learning the skills and nuances of the game he suffered some significant injury setbacks, but has been a valuable player in ruck early in his time at the Pies and then upon his return enjoyed time in key positions both in defence and forward as he enjoyed his time in the Pies Reserves
Originally it was planned for Tadiwa to be in Australia until early 2018 and while says he was loving every minute of his time here and especially loves the football club and culture at the Western Magpies, it was time to head home due to withdrawal from his University Studies for more 'entrepreneurial pursuits!' His enthusiasm was infectious and he was always willing to learn and also help out at the club in any way.
With a wicked sense of humour, he was always an honourary Aussie and his presence at the club will be sorely missed.
Everyone involved at the Western Magpies wishes him well in his future endeavours, and plenty have no doubt it will not be the last we hear of the famous 'Hot Sauce'.