Mvumvure urges Govt to do more for athletes
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.