NATIONAL Athletics Association of Zimbabwe director of coaching, talent identification and development Lisimati Phakamile has urged coaches to engage upcoming athletes to ensure talent is not lost after they leave school.
This comes after Zimbabwe successfully defended their title at the just-ended Confederation of School Sport Associations of Southern Africa Championships in Harare.
The hosts got 95 medals, including 40 gold, to finish tops in the regional meet that also featured Botswana, Namibia and Malawi.
In second place were Namibia with 75 medals, followed by Botswana with 69.
Malawi were bottom of the medals table with just one gold.
Phakamile said Nash and Naph continue to play an important role in identifying and developing talent at school level.
“I want to first of all congratulate the team, the boys and girls, it was an outstanding performance. They put in more than 100 percent effort.
“Also not forgetting the coaches who worked tirelessly day and night preparing the athletes that was good work by team Zimbabwe.
“As an association we are grateful to both these associations, Nash and Naph, because that’s where we identify athletes, that’s where our athletes get exposure, competition and the zeal to compete.”
The regional competition targets Under-13s, Under-15s who competed for the first time and Under-17s.
Nash head-in-charge of athletics, Philip Chikomwe, said the results are an indication of improvement on their state of preparedness for the event.
“The final tally of the results indicates how prepared we were and we outclassed Botswana and Namibia. They could not compete with us on the last day.”