Danhiko annual paralympic games begin
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