HARARE – Zimbabwe cricket coach Dave Houghton is set to embark on a 50km charity walk after joining forces with former international cricketer Brendan Taylor in a bid to raise US$250 000 towards the establishment of an affordable drug rehabilitation facility.

Dubbed ‘The Big Walk’, the fundraising event will take place this Saturday at Borrowdale Racecourse in Harare.

In 1998, Houghton walked from Bulawayo to Harare and managed to raise US$40 000 towards the setting up of a national cricket academy.

This time round he is focusing on the establishment of a rehabilitation facility to help recovering drug addicts.

A fortnight ago, Taylor, the former Zimbabwe captain who is serving a three-and-half year ban from all forms of cricket after he was found to have breached the International Cricket Council’s anti-corruption and anti-doping codes, did a 50km ‘walk for recovery’ as part of this fundraising campaign.

Taylor has publicly admitted to have a problem with drugs and alcohol and last year checked in at a rehabilitation centre in Nyanga for three months.

“I had an extremely valuable life-changing experience for three months in the treatment facility in Nyanga,” Taylor told The NewsHawks in May 2022.

“It was time to just press the reset button, to get my health back on track, get my mind back on track and iron out all the negative…the poisonous stuff I put in my body and, you know, really just try to alter the mind and find a strong faith in a higher power to combat all these terrible addictions. So it was 120 days of being sober. I’m feeling extremely healthy and in a great mind frame. I feel extremely motivated and ready to tackle life head-on and in a constructive way.”

Zimbabwe is battling drug and substance abuse among the youth, with cannabis, crystal methamphetamine and unprescribed cocaine being among the most commonly abused drugs.

However, a lack of support systems such as affordable rehabilitation centres makes recovery difficult for many abusers.

This prompted Houghton, himself a former Zimbabwe skipper and one of the country’s greatest players of all time, to join forces with Taylor to raise funds through charity in an effort to establish a centre that can offer rehabilitation to all.

Sources: ZC Media/ SportsCast


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