NAAZ to set up train­ing cen­tres in Man­i­ca­land

The Manica Post - - Sport - Tafadzwa Tichawan­gana Sports Cor­re­spon­dent

THE Na­tional Ath­let­ics As­so­ci­a­tion of Zim­babwe (NAAZ) pres­i­dent Tendai Ta­gara says the as­so­ci­a­tion plans to set up high al­ti­tude train­ing cen­tres in Man­i­ca­land.

In an in­ter­view with the Post Sport on the side­lines of the 2018 Old Mu­tual Vumba Moun­tain Run last Satur­day, Ta­gara said:

“We want to fol­low the Kenyan model where sports­wear gi­ants such as Nike and Adi­das have taken ad­van­tage of the ter­rain and high al­ti­tude in parts of Kenya to set up high al­ti­tude train­ing cen­tres.

“High al­ti­tude train­ing cen­tres will give us an op­por­tu­nity to sell the Eastern High­lands as a sports tourism des­ti­na­tion with both elite ath­letes and recre­ational run­ners com­ing to train here while en­joy­ing its unique scenery and beauty,” he said.

Ta­gara said there are plans to use the Zim­babwe Repub­lic Po­lice train­ing cen­tre ahead of the 2019 World Cham­pi­ons.

“Next year we will work with the Zim­babwe Repub­lic Po­lice who al­ready have a train­ing cen­tre at Vumba Heights and we want our team to train there ahead of the World Cham­pi­onships in Doha. Prior to the 2008 Bei­jing Olympics we sent our ath­letes to Nyanga due to our ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the im­por­tance of high al­ti­tude train­ing.

“In the long term we are look­ing at hav­ing most of our mid­dle and long dis­tance run­ners based in Man­i­ca­land as the prov­ince has the per­fect con­di­tions for their train­ing,” he said.

About 1000 ath­letes from across the coun­try took part in the 7th edi­tion of the Old Mu­tual Vumba Moun­tain Run last Satur­day.

For the third year run­ning Cani­sious Nya­mut­sita won the Old Mu­tual Vumba Moun­tain Run 21km men’s race fin­ish­ing in a time of 1hour 10min­utes 48sec­onds.

There was a first time win­ner in the women’s 21km race as Rudo Mhondirwa clocked 1hour 23min­utes and 20sec­onds.

Mhondirwa told Post Sport that she plans to build on her vic­tory.

“My aim now is to qual­ify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. This Old Mu­tual Vumba Moun­tain Run win gave me more con­fi­dence as I step up my prepa­ra­tions for next year and aim to qual­ify for the Olympics,” she said.

Ta­gara hailed spon­sors Old Mu­tual for their con­tin­ued sup­port of ath­let­ics in the coun­try.

“I am happy with the sup­port that we are get­ting from Old Mu­tual and its part­ners. They are cur­rently spon­sor­ing seven races across the coun­try and it was en­cour­ag­ing to see the some of the Old Mu­tual man­age­ment team run­ning in to­day’s race.

“This year’s edi­tion was well or­gan­ised and more spec­tac­u­lar. This race is grow­ing from strength to strength ev­ery year,” he said.

ABOUT 1 000 ath­letes took part in the 2018 Old Mu­tual Vumba Moun­tain Run held last Satur­day

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