7 December 2012

Zimbabwe: Chitima's Big Dream

BIG "Bigs" Chitima has got a dream.

Chitima is the vice-chairman of the Bogwheelers Club who run the motorsport of motocross in Zimbabwe.

For the past years, the motorcycling event of motocross has mainly been consigned to Donnybrook Raceway in the east of Harare. But Chitima wants to take this sport "places" and is mooting out an idea of introducing it "to the people" by having demonstration races in Harare's high-density suburbs of Highfield, Mbare as well as in Chitungwiza. Motocross is a very exciting spectator-friendly sport but in Zimbabwe it still attracts very few people or spectators. Why? Because efforts have not been made in the past to take this sport to the people.

"It (motocross) has been taken as one of the elite sports in this country.

"But I want to change this perception by taking this sport to the people. I'm thinking of having some demonstration races in some high-density suburbs of Harare such as Mbare and Highfield, or even Mufakose.

"I'm also thinking of taking this sport to Chitungwiza because I think there are a lot of people there who are aware that the sport exists in this country but they just can't find their way to Donnybrook to watch it.

"In fact, there are hundreds of well-off people in Chitungwiza who can afford to buy a motorbike for their kids and introduce them to this exciting sport of motocross," Chitima said.

He said in other African countries such as Kenya and Uganda, motocross is one of the most popular sports and attracts thousands of spectators.

In fact, in Uganda the sport has gone so popular that whenever there is a big international motocross event, their government buys all its top riders brand new bikes.

"Motocross is big in both Kenya and Uganda because the sport's organisers in these two countries took it to the people and they embraced it as one of their favourite sports.

"I'm told in Kenya and Uganda, more than 10 000 people go out to watch a motocross event and we can do it here in Zimbabwe and that's why I would like to have these demonstration races in the high-density suburbs.

"What I'm thinking of doing next year is to build an artificial track in one of these high-density suburbs and have an all-day race meeting there.

"We will erect a fence around this artificial track and let people have an easy access to action at close-range.

"This, I tell you, will see more and more people getting to know and appreciate this spectator-friendly sport," said Chitima who is also one of the country's top motor rally drivers.

Chitima's idea was backed by Temba Mazvimbakupa of the Zimbabwe Motorsport Federation who said that they (the ZMSF) should launch an awareness campaign to educate people that all motorsport events are not as dangerous as they think they are.

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