The Government through the Ministry of Youth, Sport and , Arts Recreation recently honoured the senior men and women’s National Football teams in Harare at a colourful ceremony. Also to be honoured were the winners and nominees of the Regional Annual Sport Awards which were held in Johannesburg, South Africa, not to be forgotten was Wilfred Mashaya who was crowned the World Kobodu Champion in Barcelona, Spain and Marko Mambo who came a credible 5th in the Cdes Marathon in South Africa.
The occasion was hosted by the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Hon. Kazembe Kazembe and was officiated by the Minister of Lands and Agriculture Hon. Perrence Shiri (Air Chief Marshal Rtd) standing in for the Vice President of the Hon. Dr Constentino Guvheya Dominic Nyikadzino Chiwenga as the Guest of Honour.
Speaking the occasion the reception the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Hon. Kazembe Kazembe noted that there was a lot of talent within the country however, he bemoaned the way in which the sport of football was being run.
“The English Premier Soccer League is worth $6 billion and the South African Absa league is worth more than a billion rands and the world over no league is sponsored by the Government, our challenge is that our approach to the management of the league is not hygienic, we need to be hygienic and the sponsors will come in” said Minister Kazembe Kazembe.
While addressing the same gathering the, Vice President Dr Chiwenga said Government had noted the splendid performances that were posted by the National Teams and some athletes the Regional Annual Sport Awards (RASA) and International competitions at the World Kobodi Championships and the Cdes Marathon.
“As we are gathered here tonight, it is important to note and realize the significant role that sport in general and football in particular has played in bringing the national together. The fond memories of the Warriors Dream Team still linger in our hearts and the qualification and subsequent participation at the Olympics in Rio De Jenairo by the Mighty Warriors still remains an embodiment of success in the history of sport. Only this past week you made Zimbabwe proud again demonstrating your prowess as Warriors and Mighty Warriors through team and individual heroics”, said the Vice President.
Also speaking at the same gathering VP Chiwenga said the Government had put in place a comprehensive sport delivery system which was traceable from grassroots to elite level.
“In line with our new thrust for national development, Government has set out to establish a comprehensible sport and recreation delivery systems traceable from the grassroots and durable enough to eliminate social fragmentations as well as instill sound management in the sector for economic gain.
“As a Government, our ultimate goals are to develop the sector to reputable standard levels by ensuring that sport contributes to safe, strong and sustainable communities, and that it is accessible to all citizens regardless of color, creed, race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, physical and cognitive ability, sexual orientation or political affiliation”, Vice President Chiwenga added.
The Vice President also bemoaned the way the female athletes were being treated especially when they were on National duty and to that end he indicated that Government was working on a Remuneration of the athletes so that there was equality in the rewarding of the athletes. It was also on that basis that the teams to include the RASA Nominees (Tanyaradzwa Muzinda, Samson Muripo, Elford Moyo and Margret Bangajena) Marko Mambo and Mashaya Wilfred Maninji were all given a $1000 for their heroic efforts.