Mvumvure urges Govt to do more for ath­letes

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Harare Bereau

UNITED States-based sprinter Gabriel Mvumvure has urged the gov­ern­ment to sup­port lo­cal ath­letes with their prepa­ra­tions ahead of in­ter­na­tional as­sign­ments if they are to make an im­pact on the global stage.

Mvumvure was rep­re­sent­ing Zim­babwe in the 100m event at the on­go­ing Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he fin­ished sev­enth in his heat.

“I wish the gov­ern­ment would get a lit­tle more in­volved in ath­letes and arts and other peo­ple’s lives be­cause when you come here you want to do the best to rep­re­sent your coun­try,” said the 28-year-old.

“You don’t want to just come here and you are out in the first round.

“So I am just plead­ing with the gov­ern­ment or any min­is­ters or min­istries to be able to sup­port more sports peo­ple be­cause it’s hard to come to the Olympics.

“You have to go through so many things, in­juries and all that stuff.

“I know I train with some ath­letes from dif­fer­ent parts of the world and Trinidad, for ex­am­ple, their ath­letes when­ever you make an Olympic team or world cham­pi­onship team you get a lit­tle stipend from your coun­try, from the Min­istry of Sports.

“And that helps them to be able to have a lit­tle some­thing to look for­ward to, to keep work­ing and all the other things like the ex­penses you in­cur as an ath­lete.

“You will be able to ac­tu­ally get taken care of and you are not look­ing re­ally for a hand­out to say here is this money and do what­ever you do.

“But a lit­tle con­ve­nience and to help out with the ex­penses you in­cur as an ath­lete is re­ally help­ful,” said Mvumvure in an in­ter­view with Zim­pa­pers’ Spencer Banda in Brazil.

Mvumvure said there is tal­ent in the coun­try but there is need to come up with struc­tures that will sup­port the de­vel­op­ment and nur­tur­ing of ath­letes lo­cally.

“I have al­ways be­lieved that the tal­ent is there. It’s just the nur­tur­ing that’s re­ally miss­ing out on some of these ath­letes be­cause as an ath­lete in Zim­babwe the best op­tion you have is try and get a good col­lege in the US to be able to do it.

“But when you look at some small coun­tries, Ja­maica for in­stance I mean they are not re­ally a big coun­try fi­nan­cially, to say they are first world coun­try.

“But they do a lot for the up-and-com­ing ath­letes in Ja­maica. Now we are able to look back at Ja­maica and say they have great ath­letes,” said Mvumvure.

Mean­while, Tatenda Tsumba is bat­tling it out to­day in the men’s 200m event.

He is one the few Zim­bab­wean ath­letes still to com­pete at the Games.

The trio of Wir­i­mai Juwawo, Cuth­bert Nyasango and Par­don Ndhlovu will take part in the men’s marathon on Sun­day.

This is the first time Zim­babwe has had a full marathon team, which is made up of three ath­letes for the Games.

Gabriel Mvumvure

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