Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
SPORTSPERSONS from different disciplines that were rewarded by the Government on Monday in Harare have said it’s a welcome development that motivates them to continue doing well for the country.
The athletes got $1 000 each for their success in their respective disciplines.
The Warriors, who are the 2018 COSAFA champions, were also handed $1 000 each at a dinner hosted by the Ministry of Sport, Arts and Recreation in Harare.
The Mighty Warriors were also rewarded for their outstanding efforts over the years at the same function.
Young female motocross rider Tanya Muzinda, wheelchair racer Elford Moyo as well as Samson Muripo and Margaret Bangajena were among those who were rewarded.
Muzinda is the reigning AUSC Region Five Regional Annual Sports Awards Junior Sportswoman of the Year while Moyo is the Sportsman of the Year with a disability.
Muripo and Bangajena were finalists at the regional awards.
Marko Mambo, who finished fifth at the Comrades Marathon, and Wilfred Mashaya, who was crowned the World Kobudo champion in Barcelona, Spain, on Saturday were also rewarded for their achievements.
Mighty Warriors captain, Talent Mandaza, said they were humbled by the gesture as their efforts have gone unnoticed in the past.
“As the Mighty Warriors we are very happy. We would like to thank the Minister for this gesture.
“Of course, there have been promises before, which were not fulfilled but we are just happy for this one.
“We are happy, everyone is happy.
“It’s unfortunate we lost the game (against Zambia), it would have been a big bonus for us if we had qualified for the Africa Women Cup of Nations,” said Mandaza.
Top karateka, Muripo, came first in the Young Master Kumite (36 to 46 years) open weight at the World So-Kyokushin All-Japan Karate tournament in April.
And he is hopeful of new era in sport where athletes are appreciated for their success.
“I think it helps to motivate others who are following our footsteps.
“I hope this is like the foundation, the beginning of more recognition to everyone who will represent the country with distinction.
“I feel proud, after working very hard to see the Government rewarding you, it’s an exciting time,” Muripo said.
Wheelchair racer, Moyo, was a happy man.
“I would like to thank our Ministry for recognising us. What is important is they didn’t take sides,’’ he said.
“And it gives me a lot of excitement that I am among those who have received these rewards. I am very happy and I am going to do more for our country.’’