Ranson Madzamba Correspondent
The coming in of the New Dispensation witnessed the creation of a standalone Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation. Many people have been wondering why not the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Culture. People were used to say arts and culture, but it is now arts and recreation.
Why recreation? What is it that is called recreation and what value does it add to the well-being of a country like Zimbabwe?
These are some of the questions many people are always asking and require some responds indeed.
Well, recreation can be viewed as a personal experience (value it has to a person), as activities (the forms it takes) or as an institution (the structure it is made available to the community).
It can further be taken as a process (what happens to an individual) and as a structure (the framework in which it is practised /industry)
In Zimbabwe, they are endless forms which include active sports, music, games, travel or domestic excursions, reading, arts and crafts, and dance.
The above mentioned recreational activities are largely available in the urban areas, whereas the countryside offer a complete set of activities, take for example hiking in Eastern Highlands areas like Vumba, Nyangani and some monuments like The Great Zimbabwe in Masvingo.
In Zimbabwe, it is through the idea of recreation that we saw the Victoria Falls and Nyanga being developed into towns. The idea of recreation hence enforced development in these respective towns.
Almost every tourist who visits Zimbabwe would want to spend his or her time in Victoria Falls to witness one of the five wonders of the world.
It is a well-known fact that tourists indeed bring foreign currency to the country.
There are various types of recreation and these include what is referred to as active recreation.
It is prominent in Zimbabwe. It allows the participant to be involved directly in the activity such as swimming, canoeing, social soccer on a weekend and youth camping among other things.
The First Lady, Auxillia Mnangagwa is indeed working with the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation in promoting community recreation.
She is doing so by way of coming up with family fun days.
It is at these occasions where the elders engage in all arts and sport activities socially.
It is thus a platform where people can meet and share ideas jovially despite other differences and upsets.
Community recreation thus helps in uniting people and we indeed thank the First Lady for the job she is doing.
Also to note is what is referred to as passive recreation.
This type of recreation only allows the participant to be an observer, such as watching a soccer match in a stadium, pub or at home or watching a basketball match.
Passive recreation may occur both indoor and outdoor. In Zimbabwe, passive outdoor recreation is popular, especially with football lovers. Sports and games are key in the provision of recreational activities.
They are the major highlight in therapeutic recreation service provision. Sports such as volleyball, cricket, basketball and such different games are serving as very good recreational activities.
Sport enthusiasts love spending time in sports activities which help them exert physically and also enjoy playing.
Outdoor sports like the ones mentioned, also provide us with the means to exercise, hence happen to be the best forms of recreation.
Recreational parks include parks under local authorities and parks under the direct jurisdiction of the parks and wildlife for example emporiums, wildlife parks, and natural-semi natural environments.
There are many recreational parks in Zimbabwe, from the mystical Chinhoyi Caves to a wide range of dams, waterfalls and lakes with spectacular bird watching and fishing opportunities.
Recreation service providers thus include the Government and local Government through municipalities.
The Government specifically contributes to the development of recreation by providing, through national organisations and agencies, complementary opportunities for individuals to participate in recreational activities.
It ensures Zimbabweans representation, both internationally and within Zimbabwe in recreation activities, serve a national purpose among other issues.
Municipalities on the other side will contribute to the development of recreation by establishing a designated municipal recreation authority to serve as the focus for the provision of community recreation opportunities.
They also undertake a regular assessments to determine community needs or interests not being met through existing community programmes among other roles.
Ranson Madzamba is the corporate and external affairs officer for the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation.