Sports min­istry to re­fur­bish in­fra­struc­ture

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

THE Min­istry of Youth, Sports, Arts and Recre­ation is set to em­bark on a pro­gramme to re­fur­bish sport­ing fa­cil­i­ties as the coun­try gears up to host ma­jor re­gional and in­ter­na­tional tour­na­ments.

Youth, Sports, Arts and Recre­ation Deputy Min­is­ter Yeukai Sim­bane­gavi re­vealed that her min­istry was on the path of restor­ing the sports and recre­ation im­age and fo­cus would be on turn­ing sport­ing in­fra­struc­ture into multi-pur­pose fa­cil­i­ties.

Speak­ing at the launch of the Tour de Great Dyke cy­cling event on Wednes­day in Dar­wen­dale, Sim­bane­gavi said the ul­ti­mate aim was to en­sure Zim­babwe has high chances of win­ning bids for ma­jor sport­ing events.

“It is a new dawn in my Min­istry, cur­rently we are restor­ing the sport and recre­ation im­age of our coun­try through re­fur­bish­ing and de­vel­op­ing sport and recre­ation fa­cil­i­ties into multi-pur­pose sport and recre­ation fa­cil­i­ties. Upon com­ple­tion, the multi-pur­pose in­fra­struc­ture will for­tify our chances to bid and host ma­jor re­gional and in­ter­na­tional tour­na­ments which upon granted will bring along mul­ti­fac­eted sport busi­ness. The fore­sight of a new sport and recre­ation im­age res­onates well with our Pres­i­dent’s mantra of Zim­babwe be­com­ing a mid­dle in­come coun­try by 2030.”

Sim­bane­gavi said the min­istry will en­gage the cor­po­rate world to sup­port the sport and recre­ation in­dus­try towards the im­prove­ment of the fa­cil­i­ties, leagues, sport eco­nom­ics and in the set­ting up of a func­tional sport and recre­ation in­dus­try which will pro­duce sport­ing equip­ment and ac­ces­sories.

Zim­babwe last played host to a ma­jor sport­ing event in 1995 when the 6th edi­tion of the All Africa Games were held here.

The coun­try has also hosted var­i­ous Zone VI sport­ing com­pe­ti­tions although mostly would be sin­gle dis­ci­plines while in 2014 the coun­try played host to the African Union Sports Coun­cil Re­gion 5 Un­der-20 Youth Games.

Zim­babwe

was

awarded

the rights to host the 2000 Africa Cup of Na­tions but the rights were later with­drawn with Caf cit­ing the coun­try’s lack of pre­pared­ness in terms of in­fra­struc­ture and Gov­ern­ment guar­an­tees.

Zim­babwe made at­tempts to bid to host the con­ti­nent’s top sport­ing show­case but all ef­forts fell flat with the coun­try again be­ing de­nied the priv­i­lege to have the Af­con fi­nals played here in 2004 and 2010.

Zifa made yet an­other bid for the 2017 fi­nals in 2014 but Caf had in­di­cated only those who had hosted the event in the past 10 years would be con­sid­ered due to the lim­ited time frame.

In 2014, for­mer Zifa vicepres­i­dent, Ndu­miso Gumede, who had been in­volved in the 2000 bid said once that right was taken away, work to im­prove Sakubva and Mucheke sta­di­ums stopped with no work be­ing done to im­prove the state of the in­fra­struc­ture.

Sta­di­ums are one of the ma­jor ar­eas that or­gan­is­ers of events look at when con­sid­er­ing bids from var­i­ous coun­tries and Gov­ern­ment guar­an­tees.

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