Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter
MIDLANDS State University student Takunda Dube is devastated that he can no longer participate at the Universities World Cup in Napoli, Italy, early next month after his college failed to raise the airfares.
The Games, which are known as Summer Universiade, will be staged between July 3 and 14. Twelve athletes from different universities had qualified and were going to participate in athletics and tennis.
Their universities were supposed to meet the airfares and accommodation costs in Napoli. But due to challenges in securing foreign currency by the institutions, 10 athletes are likely to miss the Universities World Cup.
Only two athletes who are funded by the International University Sports Federation will be traveling to Italy.
University of Zimbabwe female tennis player Thembela Ndlovu and Bindura University of Science Education sprinter Leon Tafirenyika are scheduled to fly out to Italy on Monday.
Dube said it was a blow to miss on the dream trip after working so
hard in training. “I am so disappointed. We had prepared, training daily
and even bought kits and all but all that has gone to waste,” said
His father, Stanslay, visited The Herald offices and was a dejected man.
“It is so painful, as a parent I had invested so much I even took a loan so that I would be able to buy rackets and playing kits so that my child would be presentable at the World Cup but unfortunately all that was for nothing.
“My boy is devastated. It was an opportunity to market himself and maybe get a scholarship but all those dreams are shattered. I am appealing if there is anyone who can assist at this eleventh hour,” said Stanslay Dube.
Zimbabwe Universities Sports Association president, Life Chemhere,
said they are still appealing if anyone can aboard and rescue the trip.
“Over the years we have been getting overwhelming support from our universities but financial constraints being faced by the institutions have affected the trip.
“All the universities could not raise the money and cited challenges of foreign currency. As we speak we have been to corporates and parent Ministry to see if they can assist one or two athletes. We already have the visas and the students are still training,” said Chemhere.