PRESIDENT Mugabe says schoolchildren should complete their secondary education first before pursuing sports as a career. He said while sports could be a form of employment, it was imperative for pupils to balance their sports and academic work.
The President made the remarks at Kutama College while presenting prizes to schools that took part in the second edition of the Robert Mugabe National Under-20 Schools Championships.
President Mugabe is the patron of the schools football tournament that is bankrolled by Cablemail.
Twelve schools converged at President Mugabe's former school where Pamushana High School of Masvingo won the tournament after beating Churchill of Harare in the final.
"I take it that all of you are drawn at least from the secondary level of the schools. As you pursue your academic career, you are also giving time to develop what is called the psychomotor capacity.
"So this is a combination of the mind and the body in physical education with rewards.
"If you go to school where you go and sit that is purely intellectual, purely mental.
"But when you come out now and so far you go tennis, you go to rugby, while it boosts the mind the body is also working because you must know where to kick your ball.
"You must also know the tactics of the opponents and be able to pit your own style against the style of the others," President Mugabe said.
He said some people have the ability of combining academic and sporting talents while others were gifted in just one area.
"But vamwe vane the quality of combining both, but we don't judge the children too early because along the way they can adjust.
"I am sure you have not yet made up your mind that soccer is your life.
"You are playing for your schools, you are playing for enjoyment.
"You are playing to win, this is the competitive spirit that has driven you.
"But if in the future you judge that no, your legs can do for you much more than your mind, you go the direction of your legs. But you don't take that decision too quickly. No, wait until you have gone through.
"Now you are probably in your Form Four, Form Five, From Six, finish the programme," he said.
President Mugabe encouraged the pupils to train the mind as much as they train their bodies.