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Mwenje calls for equal opportunities in sport - Zimbabwe Today
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Mwenje calls for equal opportunities in sport


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Sports Reporter
BINDURA University of Science Education Vice Chancellor Professor Eddie Mwenje has called for equal opportunities and treatment for women in all aspects of sport to enhance their performance. Mwenje, who was the guest of honour at the second Women in Sport Conference held at a local hotel in Harare yesterday, made the remarks in a speech read on his behalf by Professor Courtie Mahamadi.

While individual athletes and teams are always expected to produce results, sometimes certain factors contributing to their performance are overlooked and Mwenje pointed out that the treatment of athletes and teams is key on how they perform.

“It is also important to ensure that equal access and opportunities for women and the girl child are created in all aspects of sport.

“In many instances, we have noted with concern that women are not accorded the same treatment as their male counterparts.

“It is our clarion call to all that (are) in positions of authority in sport to ensure that there is equality in the way athletes and officials are treated. The way we treat athletes and teams also determines the way they perform.

“Sometimes we lose before we play simply because of the way we treat our athletes and the teams. There is need for a paradigm shift if we are to end with podium finishes at the highest level of sport,” said Mwenje.

The conference running for its second year is hosted by the Sport and Recreation Commission and Bindura University of Science Education Sports Academy.

The objective of the conference is to mentor women on a number of topical issues affecting women in sport and recreation as well as to create networking opportunities for women in sport and recreation.

Mwenje said although women have been in the lead in terms of achievements, there is still a gap when it comes to women in leadership positions.

“While I am aware that achievement in sport in our country has been dominated by women, the same cannot be said about leadership.

“It is in this regard that we wish to uplift the women so that they take up leadership positions within our sporting fraternity and excel as effective leaders,” Mwenje said.

The conference was held under the theme: “Let them lead and tell their story” and it drew presenters from different backgrounds tackling various issues concerning women in sport.

Veteran sports administrator Angela Nyaundi spoke on advocacy in sport, while Basketball Union of Zimbabwe secretary-general Charmaine Chamboko delivered a paper on sexual reproductive health in sport, overcoming societal barriers.

Former Mighty Warriors captain and coach Rosemary Mugadza presented on women and podium performance, bringing out the importance of strong grassroots programmes and the need to prioritise high performance centres to unlock the full potential of women in sport.

Lysias Charumbira spoke on the perceived brand equity of women sport in Zimbabwe, under which he highlighted that from a research he carried out, women sport in the country is perceived in a negative way.

He pointed out that there is limited coverage by the media when it comes to women in sport among other issues.

However, he noted that improvement of the quality of the core product, talent identification and development programmes among other recommendations will go a long way in changing some of the negative perceptions.

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