Hlongwane calls for Sport and Recreation structural overhaul

The Minister of Sport and Recreation Makhosini Hlongwane is calling for a total overhaul of the sports and recreation administrative structures in the country which have failed the nation.

Minister of Sport and Recreation Makhosini Hlongwane

Minister of Sport and Recreation Makhosini Hlongwane

Hlongwane said the current structures of sport and recreation have injured the nation’s pride internationally and has created apathy amongst the community.

He said this during an all stakeholders meeting on the state of sport and recreation in the Midlands held at Gweru Polytechnic College on Thursday.

He said there is need for decentralization of administrative structures to the ward level in order for National Sport Associations to gather untapped talent, especially in the rural communities.

“The yawning structural deficits and crevices in the sports and recreation sector which have continued to isolate the grassroots communities, denying the sector of the much needed mass participation especially at the bottom of the pyramid has perpetuated a continued trajectory of failure in-terms of podium performance injuring our national pride in the process and harming our national interest in sport and recreation,” he said.

Hlongwane said corruption within the sporting fraternity especially at the schools levelshas compromised the potential of the industry as non-resourced talented individuals are sidelined.

“Corruption is an important part of how we fail. An athlete from Chendambuya Primary School (rural school) who is the best in the community but comes from a poor background is neglected at the expense of an athlete from a boarding school. Sport is about fair-play,” he said.

Dilapidating infrastructure in the resettlements and farming areas needs to be refurbished to provide playing grounds and other facilities, as Hlogwane notes, with only 30 percent of Country Clubhouses still operational.

“We need to do an audit as a government, we have 105 country clubs in total all over the country which are an integrated sports and recreation facility but of those only 35 are in use and 12 have been converted to other uses and 58 are not functional,” he said.

Sport in Zimbabwe has suffered with the economic free fall making it difficult to reach out to all the districts of the country, as a result centralizing sporting activities and opportunities to urban centres.

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