By Tirivashe Nheweyembwa

The Sports and Recreation Commission Board will be hosting a Recreation Conference in Harare on 12 July 2014. The purpose of the conference will be among other things to:

  • To create a platform upon which the Recreation stakeholders will meet, share experiences and exchange notes
  • To define the role of the SRC with respect to Recreation in the country
  • To lay out the legislative framework guiding the provision of recreation in the country
  • To identify the potential opportunities resident within the Recreation sector and explore ways of tapping into them
  • To come up with a framework upon which Recreation activities can be scaled up across the country.

“This conference is coming against a background where much focus has been on sport and yet the majority of the people practice recreation and it has been therefore deemed prudent that Recreation must also be given the same limelight as sport.

“Our conviction is that recreation plays a pivotal role in ameliorating some of the challenges that our country is currently faced with and these include the occurrence of obesity, thus leading to chronic diseases such as coronary problems, juvenile delinquency owing to boredom and lack of access to recreation and many other challenges”, said Tirivashe Nheweyembwa.

One of the challenges that we have also noted is that access to recreational facilities is quite limited to the general public and this includes places such as amusement parks, water bodies where people go for recreation, Game parks among others. This militates against the creation an Active Nation and even the Happiness Index of the people.

Another aspect which will be scrutinized will be the number of the Recreation facilities in the country and their state as there is no database of the recreation facilities in the country.

“While we appreciate the role that the various stakeholders are playing in the provision of recreation, we will need to create a database of the facilities as per the dictates of the Statutory Instrument 342 of 1995. In so doing we will classify the facilities and register them accordingly but this is only possible after the conference because there is need to create awareness to the stakeholders first.

“Another key issue that we will be following up on is the safety of the environment in which recreation activities are being undertaken. It is the SRC`s duty and mandate to ensure that all recreation activities are provided in a safe and conducive environment, no matter where they take place. It is also the Commission`s mandate to ensure that the owners of the Recreation facilities meet the basic safety & health standards, where the safety of the public is prioritized”, added Nheweyembwa.

The conference will be attended by delegates from all the other Tertiary Institutions, Local Authorities, Schools, Hotels, Safari Operators, Owners of Luna Parks, Amusement Park owners, uniformed services, Corporate organizations, National Sports Associations and other related stakeholders.