Mining entity, Baldmin Holdings, have presented four upcoming athletes with one-in-a-lifetime opportunity to master their talents in the United States on full scholarships.
Former Nketa High School sensation, Faith Nyathi (18), Makanaka Makoni (15) from Harare, Buhle Masina (15) of Bulawayo and 21-year-old Kelvin Chiku from Marondera are the latest beneficiaries of the company’s corporate social responsibility initiative through sport.
Chiku and Nyathi are destined for Texas while Makoni and Mujaji are heading for Georgia.
The programme is the brainchild of the company’s managing director and ex-sprinter, Costar Takawira, and US-based former Zimbabwe Olympian, Phillemon Hanneck.
Baldmin Holdings country manager, Shingirai Sibanda, said the four were set to leave for America later this year.
“Baldmin will be sending four athletes – three girls and one boy — to the US on full scholarships through the Costar Takawira Mangwende Foundation, whose theme is ‘Educate a girl child and you will educate the nation.’
“Costar Takawira and his associate Phil Hanneck, who is based in USA, work together to identify potential athletes from the previously disadvantaged families or background and send them to the US on full scholarship.
“Both Costar and Phil are former atheletes themselves who represented the nation in 400m and 5000m respectively,” said Sibanda in a statement.
The company last year facilitated a scholarship for Zvishavane-born long distance athlete Bradley Makuvire to study and compete in the USA under the auspices of El Paso Community College, in Texas .
Makuvire became an instant heat in the collegiate cross country championships in the last few months.
“At the nationals he came third out of 300 athletes. Due to Makuvire’s performances the school asked Baldmin managing director Costar Takawira to send more Zimbabwean athletes.
“Baldmin’s aim is to uplift young and upcoming athletes from Zimbabwe’s rural areas and disadvantaged families hence building a future national team for Zimbabwe that will compete at international level,” said Sibanda.
Baldmin Projects specialise in heavy engineering and mining equipment and have offices in Zimbabwe, DRC and South Africa.
They have been involved with sport for years.
“The programme has been running for the past years and besides sending students to the US , Baldmin sponsors the Zowa community clinic with medical requirements, Shabanie Mine Athletics Championship every year, including kitting the Shabanie Mine football club and many other events in the country.”
Sibanda hopes the quartet of Nyathi, Makoni, Masina and Chiku will be able to reach their maximum potential with the exposure to world class facilities and sound technical expertise.
Nyathi won the 2020 Bulawayo Athletics Association senior women’s Cross-Country Championship race at Mpopoma Park in January .
The former Nketa High School pupil dominated NASH Bulawayo Province Track and Field competitions last year.
Chiku, who has been with the Bindura University of Science Education, made the grade to represent Zimbabwe in the 800m race at the 2017 Africa Junior Championships in Algeria.