Dan­hiko an­nual par­a­lympic games be­gin

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - El­lina Mh­langa Harare Bureau

THIS year’s edi­tion of the Dan­hiko An­nual Par­a­lympic Games be­gan in earnest yes­ter­day with more than 100 clubs en­ter­ing the com­pe­ti­tion.

They will run un­til to­mor­row with ath­letes com­pet­ing in ath­let­ics, goal ball, wheel­chair bas­ket­ball, net­ball, soc­cer, five-a-side soc­cer, wheel­chair ten­nis, slalom and swim­ming.

Dan­hiko Games or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee chair­per­son God­frey Ma­jonga said they are look­ing for­ward to an­other suc­cess­ful event.

“We are hop­ing that com­ing so soon af­ter Rio, the in­ter­est in the Games from both the par­tic­i­pants and the spec­ta­tors will be very high, want­ing to em­u­late what they saw hap­pen­ing in Rio.

“Our fa­cil­i­ties have been spruced up a bit, which is good for our com­pe­ti­tion.

“We just hope that the par­tic­i­pants have a good time, be­cause the real joy of or­gan­is­ing the Games is see­ing the dif­fer­ent dis­abil­i­ties and their range of sever­ity tak­ing part in the Games and en­joy­ing them­selves,” said Ma­jonga.

The Games will be of­fi­cially opened to­day by First Lady Amai Grace Mu­gabe, who is the pa­tron.

“We are very grate­ful to Her Ex­cel­lency, the First Lady, for mak­ing it all pos­si­ble,” said Ma­jonga.

"Once we know she is on board, which she is ev­ery year, we know the Games are go­ing to be there.

“Then of course other part­ners come on board af­ter we have been as­sured that the Games are there. So we are look­ing for­ward to a very ex­cit­ing sport­ing fes­ti­val and that the com­pe­ti­tion will be stiff.

“We are grate­ful also to the Min­is­ter of Sport and Re­cre­ation for com­ing on board with $30 000 and other part­ners who have come on board.

“Our bud­get for this year was $92 000, so with all the sup­port in cash and kind we have been able to stage the Games, from the First Lady, part­ners and every­body who have come to as­sist, we are very grate­ful,” said Ma­jonga.

Zvisha­vane Para­plegic Ath­letic Club chair­per­son, Je­fas Chinyama, said they will be out to de­fend their ti­tle in wheel­chair bas­ket­ball.

“Ob­vi­ously we are ex­pect­ing to take the tro­phy back home. Win­ning to us is not com­ing by chance, we are the cham­pi­ons.

“Be­ing Zvisha­vane, or­gan­ised as we think we are, there is no rea­son why we should not re­tain our ti­tle.

“Since we are just start­ing we don’t know what those teams have got in store for us. But we are tak­ing each game as it comes,” said Chinyama.

The Games will fea­ture 107 clubs in­clud­ing one from Zam­bia.

Sports direc­tor at Dan­hiko, El­ford Moyo, said the com­ing in of the Zam­bian team is an in­di­ca­tion of the growth of the Games.

Sports direc­tor at Dan­hiko, El­ford Moyo

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