FOLLOWING the arrival of the remaining consignment of equipment that was donated by the International Judo Federation, the local judo motherbody looks set to get their schools development and decentralisation programme underway.
The equipment that include 500 judo suits and 10 sets of mats was donated in 2019 by the international federation.
Judo Association of Zimbabwe first received the suits last year while the mats arrived on Wednesday.
There had been delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Judo Association of Zimbabwe president, Smart Deke, said they are excited about the future.
"We are going to try and start working with the Ministry of Education, so that we can actually start getting into schools and start our programme. This equipment has mainly come for judo in schools, so we really now need to start working with the Ministry of Education.
"So as soon as we are given permission to start getting into schools we are going to start approaching schools. So that's what we are now working on, to start approaching the Ministry of Education.
"But we are going to start outside Harare now that we have this equipment to cover 10 provinces. We are going to try and have one centre in each province.
"We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Government of Zimbabwe for helping us to have a rebate/duty free tax clearance on our judo mats.
"We also thank the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation honorable Kirsty Coventry. SRC, acting director Mr Sebastian Garikai and the chairperson Mr Mlotshwa and all those that extended their hands, we greatly appreciate," said Deke.
Judo has been mainly concentrated in Harare and the national association is taking a deliberate move to introduce the sport in schools across the country.
"For everyone to develop, we have to start with grassroots and our grassroots is not that strong. So if we start with the children early at Primary School, by the time they get to Secondary School they will be cadets.
"So we are talking of a long term athletes' development plan and talent identification," said Deke.
They are also looking at making the sport inclusive through the establishment of centres for people with disability. Currently they have one such centre in Murewa.