Rashiwe Murisa Sports Reporter
YOUTH, Sport, Arts and Recreation Minister Kirsty Coventry yesterday rubber-stamped the move by the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee for all national sport associations to have athletes commissions by early next year. This came after ZOC held an Athletes Commission Forum in Harare yesterday.
The meeting was a follow up to the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa which was held in Zimbabwe in September.
And yesterday ZOC convened an extraordinary symposium with all the sporting associations in the country and it was resolved that all the national sport associations in the country should have athletes commissions responsible for addressing issues that affect athletes.
Coventry made a guest appearance and backed the plans by the grouping.
The development has been described as a welcome development since athletes’ grievances aren’t addressed well.
ZOC Athletics Commission chairperson Abel Chimukoko said all sporting associations should have athletes commissions by March 31 next year.
He said failure by the national sport associations to adhere to the directive will result in the cutting of their stipulated sport grants which comes from the Olympic Solidarity.
“We passed so many resolutions during the day-long meeting we had with all the 33 national sport associations,” Chimukoko said.
“We mainly focused on how to develop sport in a way which will see the country force its way on the world sporting map. We emphasised on the need by the associations to establish proper communication channels to ease the way they conduct business. But one of the most important resolutions which we passed was for all sporting associations to establish vibrant athletes commissions by March 31, 2019.
“We are very much elated by this development. The Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, Coventry, gave it her blessings and we see this as a huge step towards professionalising our sport here in Zimbabwe. It’s a very important development in terms of trying to do sport well as well as putting the country on the map. We have so much in terms of talent, but we tend to neglect the most important aspect of sport, which is the athlete.
“There is no sport which we can talk about without mentioning the athlete. So we are basically saying for the athletes to perform to their full potential, we need to address issues which affect them.
“We also need to explore ways to get the best out of them. This is the reason why we are saying all sporting federations should have athletes commissions to address these issues”.
The grouping spoke at length on the implications of sporting malpractices such as doping. A lot of athletes end up being banned from taking part in sport after testing positive to prohibited substances.
It is issues like these in which the Athletes Commissions have top address.
Source: The Herald