THE Zimbabwe National Army Commando Regiment received a special Christimas gift when its swimming pool, which had been derelict for nearly 20 years, was refurbished by Innscor Africa and its associates at a cost of more than US$100 000.
The project was part of the company's corporate social responsibility programmes aimed at uplifting the quality of life of Zimbabweans.
Addressing hundreds of soldiers at ceremony to celebrate the reopening of the swimming pool at 1 Commando headquarters recently, ZNA Chief of Staff Major- General Martin Chedondo expressed appreciation to Innscor Africa for the intervention.
He said the swimming pool had fallen into a state of disrepair because of the exorbitant costs of maintaining the facility.
"In these days of austerity, ZNA alone could not have repaired this swimming pool because of severe budgetary constraints. We therefore welcome this kind gesture by Innscor Africa which has demonstrated that the company is a good friend of the army."
Major-General Chedondo said the swimming pool would serve all army units and would also be available to the community and schools.
Major-General Chedondo hailed Innscor's corporate social responsibility programme, saying the company had demonstrated that it was a good corporate citizen, ready to work with other stakeholders in making Zimbabwe a better place. He called on other companies to learn from Innscor and contribute the community's development.
Speaking at the same occasion, Innscor chief executive Mr John Koumides said his company was proud to be associated with the ZNA, which was not only one of its major customers, but was also responsible for defending the country's territorial integrity.
"This intervention is part of Innscor's corporate social responsibility, which has seen the group making interventions in health, education, charity and sports and arts development," he said.
Mr Koumides urged the ZNA to use the swimming pool not only for recreation but also for competitions and for talent identification programmes.
"We hope through this swimming pool, together we can identify and nurture the kind of talent that can represent Zimbabwe in international competitions and win medals for the country. We want the next Kirsty Coventry to come through such a programme," he added.
He said with the next Olympic Games taking place in Brazil in 2016, preparations for assembling a strong sports team capable of bagging medals should begin in earnest. The Commando Regiment aqua unit was on hand to demonstrate its swimming and life-saving skills.