Sport, Arts and Recreation Minister Kazembe Kazembe believes that exposing local athletes to proper facilities will enhance their competitiveness and indicated that this had influenced the importance they are attaching to infrastructure development throughout the country. Kazembe said this at the Annual National Sports Awards ceremony at the HICC on Wednesday to honour outstanding Zimbabwean athletes.
The minister said major thrust is being put on the construction of facilities and improvement on the existing ones for the enhancement of podium performances. "In the next decade, Government will ensure that each of the country's 10 provinces and the administrative districts have a multi-purpose facility. Such facilities will improve the livelihood of communities on those areas as well as create employment.
"The move to commit Government support for infrastructure development will also enhance the competitiveness of Zimbabwean athletes on the global stage and provide the country with an opportunity to bid to host high profile international competitions.
"It is critical that local athletes be exposed to top notch facilities before they embark on international competitions. On that note, there will be a deliberate approach to modernise existing facilities such as the National Sports Stadium and install bucket seats at the giant facility," said Kazembe.
Lack of maintenance of the existing facilities keep up with international standards has also been a challenge. Kazembe saluted the athletes for their efforts and assured them of support from the government.
With several international competitions coming up in the next few years, Kazembe called on national sport associations to step up their efforts in preparing for the events.