Take ed­u­ca­tion se­ri­ously, ath­letes ad­vised

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Allen Khu­malo

RENOWNED world track and field athletics coach Amer­i­can Dar­ryl An­der­son con­ducted a work­shop for ath­letes and coaches in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Na­tional Univer­sity of Sci­ence and Tech­nol­ogy (Nust) and Arnold Payne Global Sports In­ter­na­tional at the Bu­l­awayo Polytech­nic yes­ter­day.

An­der­son warned ath­letes against for­get­ting that there was life af­ter sports and urged them to pre­pare them­selves for it by getting a proper ed­u­ca­tion.

“The key to every sport is dis­ci­pline. Ath­letes should not de­tach sport from aca­demics be­cause these two work hand in hand. At some point you won’t be fast any­more, you won’t jump high any­more and at that point you won’t be known,” said An­der­son.

“A lot of ath­letes look at their lives as ath­letes, but what hap­pens when that life is over? If you don’t have a degree what are you go­ing to lean on? There­fore, no mat­ter what, ath­letes must grab all ed­u­ca­tional op­por­tu­ni­ties they get to pre­pare for the fu­ture,” he said.

Arnold Payne, a for­mer Zim­babwe 400m record holder who also rep­re­sented the coun­try at the All-Africa Games, Com­mon­wealth Games and World Cham­pi­onships, be­lieves that ex­po­sure to other peo­ple with bet­ter prac­tices and stan­dards may pro­pel pas­sion in lo­cal sports.

“We asked An­der­son to come and share what we ul­ti­mately worry about in the world of athletics and that would be the ed­u­ca­tion that is re­quired by sports sci­ence stu­dents and as­so­ci­a­tions. We re­alised that most ath­letes are fail­ing to pre­pare

for their fu­ture and that is why to­day we em­pha­sised on the im­por­tance of ed­u­ca­tion, which will help ath­letes when they are 30 or 40 years old,” said Payne.

“Ath­letes need to have their aca­demics in or­der be­cause there are schol­ar­ships that re­quire ath­letes to have good aca­demic grades. We have had sit­u­a­tions where some ath­letes fail to get schol­ar­ships be­cause they don’t have good grades. So we en­cour­age ath­letes to take ed­u­ca­tion se­ri­ously be­cause this is the main key to schol­ar­ships.”

Payne also ad­vised ath­letes on the im­por­tance of nu­tri­tion, dis­ci­pline as well as sur­round­ing one­self with peo­ple that en­cour­age them to suc­ceed. He said coaches also need to be well ed­u­cated in world class meth­ods to get ath­letes as far as possible in their var­i­ous dis­ci­plines.

North­lea High School athletics coach Mu­sawenkosi Tha­bane said such pro­grammes were the miss­ing link in the devel­op­ment of lo­cal sport.

“I want to thank the or­gan­is­ers be­cause to­day we got to know the stan­dards that are re­quired for our ath­letes to qual­ify for over­seas schol­ar­ships. As coaches, we were also told to plan for our events so that we are al­ways pre­pared for any com­pe­ti­tion,” said Tha­bane.

Chair­man of the Bu­l­awayo Athletics Board Manuel Mpofu said he was very proud of what Payne did be­cause it showed that he is in­ter­ested in the devel­op­ment of athletics in Zim­babwe. He also en­cour­aged ath­letes and coaches to put to good use what they were taught by An­der­son when the athletics sea­son starts.

An­der­son will to­day hold an­other work­shop for ath­letes and coaches at White City Sta­dium in Bu­l­awayo. — @ khumza­llen

Arnold Payne Dar­ryl An­der­son

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