29 December 2012

Zimbabwe: Sports Administrators Eyes On 2013

WITH the year coming to an end, most national sports associations have set their eyes on the new year with a lot of activities lined up in different disciplines. While many people are enjoying the festive season holidays, for sports administrators in various disciplines it is work as usual as they plan for 2013 having had a quiet year in 2012.

Zimbabwe Volleyball Association secretary-general, Ringisai Mapondera, said they have a busy schedule next year and preparations have already begun with their first assignment coming next month.

"We have got the Under-20 and Under-17 Zone Six in Malawi in January.

"We have the Seniors World qualifiers next year and deadline for confirmation is January 5.

"We have already confirmed our participation and we will first going to have the zonals," said Mapondera.

Mapondera said they were hoping to come up with various fund-raising activities to raise the money to fund the tournaments.

"We have been trying to revamp subscriptions from our clubs in all provinces.

"We are mooting the idea of having everyone in volleyball registering with ZVA.

"We can also do merchandising, selling a lot of our regalia and replica jerseys and t-shirts because it's difficult to get money from the corporate world.

"We are looking at maybe US$50 000 to fund the events," said Mapondera.

However, Mapondera noted that their main thrust was on junior development and they were not expecting much from the teams that will be competing in the regional and international events because Zimbabwe was still lagging behind in terms of competition.

"Our emphasis is on development, yes we are mandated to compete in these events but we are not looking at winning with those teams.

"Our priority will be on the junior competitions because that's where our future is.

"We have the Great Zimbabwe junior development programme, which started last year and will run for eight years.

"We hope in eight years we should have a team qualifying even for the Olympics.

"Looking at the senior level we do not stand a chance, we don't expect a miracle," Mapondera said.

For the Zimbabwe Handball Federation the future is looking bright having gone through some challenges for almost two years.

ZHF president, Amos Madzvamuse, revealed they have been invited to take part in the Partille Cup in Sweden and the Major Festival in Denmark set for July and August respectively.

"We are busy preparing our calendar. We have a lot of local and international activities.

"We have a busy schedule for 2013, we received an invitation to send two national teams and two Under-16 teams for the Partille Cup to be held in July.

"We are also going to have the services of a technical director from Sweden starting from March next year and he will be working with our coaches.

"This was facilitated by the two members from the Sweden Federation, that is Rolph Hausser and Chris Eaton, who came for a tour this year and these guys are looking forward to working with us.

"We are supposed to send a team for Major Festival in Denmark and we are still finalising on that.

"We are going to Malawi for the Zone Six championships in March and we are looking at quite a lot of money," said Madzvamuse.

Athletics will not be left out as National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe president, Tendai Tagara, said their major competitions for next year are the World Championships and the World Cross Country in March.

Zimbabwe will also host the Cosasa Championships between April and May.

"The World championships will be held in August in Moscow and it's quite expensive to send our athletes for these events but we are hoping to take part.

"We are still working on our calendar," said Tagara.

Local tennis players are also set to be travelling across the globe with the several international competitions on offer and the juniors are already preparing for the International Tennis Federation Southern African Junior Championships taking off on January 6 in Namibia.

Tennis Zimbabwe administrator, Cliff Nhokwara, said there are several tournaments lined up for next year but it is unfortunate that the national association does not have enough funds to host some of the events locally as it would have been easy for most of the players to play at home.

"We have no sponsor so as such we get funding through parents. It's not a situation that is unique to Zimbabwe but that's something done all over the world.

"There is the zonal tournament in January and the winners will progress to the African Junior Championships in April.

"We are going to host the 18-and-under tournament between July and August.

"There are few team events and the rest are individual tournaments and we will be sending players depending on the countries they are being held," said Nhokwara.

Zimbabwe Karate Union president Joe Rugwete said they will be taking part in various competitions although their main focus was on development and decentralisation of the sport.

"Our main focus is on the long-term strategic plan we are presenting at our annual general meeting in February and decentralisation.

"But we are hoping to benefit from the World Karate Federation Seminar to be held in July in Botswana.

"The federation is sending instructors and they will be training coaches and referees.

"We will compete in the Zone Six championships in Namibia and the World Karate Federation Junior and Cadets championships in Spain in November," said Rugwete.

The ZKU president said they are putting in place various programmes to raise money for the trips.

It remains to be seen whether 2013 will be different and a fruitful year for the sporting fraternity considering that 2012 did not bring much in terms of achievements by local athletes.

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