Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE has adopted a new hosting policy for the National Youth Games and Paralympic Games in line with the International Olympic Committee’s hosting of the Olympics and Paralympic Games.
The new policy, which takes effect in 2018, will see the province that plays host to the National Youth Games automatically staging National Paralympic Games a week or two later.
Previously, the two flagship sporting events were held on a rotational basis whereby one province would host the Youth Games and another the Paralympic Games.
“These games will now be held in line with international standards as from next year and this is really done also so as to concentrate resources in one province as well as training one local organising committee,” said Acting Sports and Recreation Commission director general Joseph Muchechetere.
The decision to follow international trends has seen Bulawayo losing out in hosting next year’s Paralympics Games, with the annual event now going to be staged in the Midlands, hosts of the Youth Games.
“As you may be aware that the Paralympic Games were inaugurated in Bulawayo in 2008 and have been held on a rotational basis per province and next year we were meant to restart the circle again, but due to the new hosting policy, Midlands will be our destination,” said Muchechetere.
He said the new hosting policy was endorsed by the Ministry of Sport and Recreation.
This year’s Paralympic Games were held in Bindura, Mashonaland Central, from April 7-11 and the hosts emerged victorious with 24 gold, 15 silver and six bronze medals, followed by Mashonaland West, who got 14 gold, 21 silver and 11 bronze medals, while Masvingo came third with 11 gold, four silver and 10 bronze medals.
Bulawayo were fourth with 10 gold, 12 silver and 16 bronze medals.
“It was a good show by our athletes and everyone involved. I am satisfied with the performance,” said Bulawayo SRC co-ordinator Sam Dzvimbu.
In fifth position were next year’s hosts Midlands, who managed seven gold, eight silver and nine bronze medals, ahead of Harare, who got six gold, nine silver and bronze medals respectively.
Matabeleland South were seventh, garnering four gold, one silver and two bronze medals, followed by Manicaland, who managed three gold, seven silver and 10 bronze medals. Mashonaland East got the same number of gold medals as Matabeleland South and three silver and seven bronze medals.
Anchoring the medals’ table were Matabeleland North with no gold, three silver and bronze medals.