The Zimbabwean culture has a rich history of sports. Football is the dominant sport among the majority of the Zimbabwe people, with field hockey also being quite popular. Following that, cricket and rugby union also have relatively large fan bases. Originally, both cricket and rugby union were played by the white minority of the country. This changed following the country’s independence in 1980.

Zimbabweans are generally keen sports fans, and the government encourages its citizens to participate in physical activities. To further emphasize their support, the government has built gyms and facilities to cater to interests in sporting activities. This illustrates just how much sports are interwoven with the fabric of society in Zimbabwe, making it not only the norm but a way of life for the people.

The most popular sports

Football and field hockey have some of the largest player and fan bases. They are well-loved and widely supported by the Zimbabwean people. These sports offer both players and fans many advantages.


In Zimbabwe, football is played on the streets and in professional settings. The country’s football leagues are CBZ’s Premier League and the Zimbabwe Football Association. Love for the sport transcends physical entertainment, and it’s not unusual for Zimbabweans to frequent online betting and take advantage on sites like that can help you find the best online option for you. It helps that the country offers a budding climate for bookmarkers. Betting allows fans to show support for fellow Zimbabweans playing for international teams and secure stakes in sports that interest them.

Zimbabweans are encouraged to join the beautiful game by enrolling in the Youth Olympics Squad and the Youth Soccer League. Zimbabwean internationals playing across the world are proof of this system. The country also boasts a huge sporting facility in its National Sports Stadium, which seats 60,000 spectators and houses other sporting activities such as rugby union.

Field hockey

Not only does field hockey have an all-inclusive policy, allowing both males and females to play, but it also has been integrated as a strong sports foundation into the educational system. At the time of this writing, Zimbabwe has three main fields for field hockey. Harare, the capital city, is home to a sand-filled pitch, which is located at the Arundel School, while Bulawayo has two others: one is sand-filled and the other is water-based.

The country has quite a history in this sport. Zimbabwe’s women’s team won a gold medal at the inaugural Olympic tournament in Moscow in 1980. Recently, they have struggled to live up to their past performances. This is partly because they were unable to join international competitions setup by the International Hockey Federation (FIH) and the African Hockey Federation (AfHF).

Historically significant sports

Beyond being cultural phenomena in and of themselves, these sports also have a rich history in the country. Some date as far back as colonial times and have survived until now. These sports offer the perfect blend of historical and cultural significance.


Before Rhodesia became Zimbabwe, polocrosse was one of the earliest sports played in the country. However, it wasn’t until 1997 that Zimbabweans made a name for themselves in the sport after an unbeaten run against South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. In 2003, the country emerged fourth from the eight countries that qualified for the inaugural World Cup. In the year that followed, Zimbabwe won the Polocrosse Africa Cup.

The sport reached its peak in the country around 1996 but has since declined due to more Zimbabweans taking their skills to international teams. Unlike cricket, polocrosse has a rural history, as it was first played by rural settlers during the country’s land reforms.

Rugby union

Rugby union is culturally significant to the Zimbabwean people; they have been playing since as early as the 19th century. The country’s national rugby union team has played twice in the Rugby World Cup with several breakout talents. However, like its polocrosse players, the country’s finest rugby players often go abroad, where they are drawn by the allure of higher compensation and a better-organised system.


Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia was home to the Young Merchants Cricket Club formed by nine immigrant men in 1934. Some seven years later, the club was renamed the Oriental Cricket Club. As time passed, cricket transformed from a ragtag team of men seeking entertainment into a well-structured culture that survived until the 21st century.

After independence, natives of the country were widely recruited into the sport. This helped build the country’s postcolonial sporting culture, allowing it to apply for test status with the ICC (International Cricket Council). The game of cricket has come to be known as a national Zimbabwean sport, in contrast to its initial identity as a colonial inheritance of Indian identity.