No money for Africa games preparations

The Zimbabwean team stands to go to the Africa Games in Congo Brazzaville in September without preparing fully after the authorities failed to get funding from the government.

Kirsty Coventry
Kirsty Coventry

The Chef de mission of the team, Joseph Muchechetere said they wrote to the ministry of sport long back seeking funding for the team but so far there has not been a response.

Muchechetere said they would have wanted the athletes in camp way ahead of departure for them to get high level training as well as get involved in international competitions but that will no longer be the case.

“We have been waiting for a response but there are no positive indications. We would have wanted the athletes in camp well in advance but the funds for that are not there,” said Muchechetere, who is also the deputy director general of the Sport and Recreation Commission.

The minister of Sport, Arts and Culture Andrew Langa could not be reached to shed light on how far they have gone with funding issue.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee Anna Mguni said it was important that the team was in camp well in advance adding that the current situation could have some far reaching repercussions on the performance of the team.

Muchechetere said Zimbabwe would be sending close to 200 athletes for the Games but they are picking only those whom they believe will bring home medals instead of those going to learn or to gain experience.

However, some like the Zimbabwe Under 23 soccer team will be going to the Games after going through the qualifying process. The Young Warriors knocked out Cameroon 2-1 on aggregate for that vital place at the Africa Games.

The women’s soccer team, the Mighty Warriors failed to gain qualification after losing out 4-3 on aggregate against the Black Queens of Ghana.

At the last Games in Mozambique, Zimbabwe finished in 11th position with a total of 15 medals, six gold, seven silver and two bronze.

Swimmer Kirsty Coventry won four of the gold medals with the other coming from tennis ace Takanyi Garanganga and chess player Robert Gwaze.

At that time, Zimbabwe sent 170 athletes. Zimbabwe hosted the Africa Games, then called the All Africa Games in 1995.

Post published in: Sport

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