Zimbabwe: Naaz Look for Partnerships

THE National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe are looking at complementing their long-term athletes development programme by engaging partners to assist them financially for the initiative to realise maximum potential.

The long term athletes development programme will be spearheaded by NAAZ director for youth, Briad Nhubu.

NAAZ president, Tendai Tagara, said they were engaging the Sports and Recreation Commission and the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee to assist with funding for the programme.

“LTAD is the philosophy for continuous churning of athletes. It’s like a conveyer belt,” said Tagara.

“It’s one of the key recommendations of our new development plan. I am happy there is a huge buy in from our athletes.

“We are in the process of looking for funding from SRC and ZOC. ZOC have the Youth Olympics, they must fund the development of that team.

“SRC have regional Youth Games, they must support the programme.

“The association is also looking for an ‘adoption’ of athletes programme by companies in various forms and numbers, where we are saying adopt an athlete, adopt the future star.

“We work together to prepare budgets but the company manages the budget and we provide the technical support because the economy is not performing well and a company can adopt one, two or four athletes.

“I am happy some of our partners are warming to that idea. I want to make sure, come 2021, we have new track and field partners to strengthen our junior competitiveness.”

Nhubu said although there have been grassroots programmes taking place, they have not been properly organised.

“The focus is to develop athletes through their developmental stages as opposed to early specialisation.

“Athletics is a late specialisation sport, so LTAD will address this facet.

“LTAD answers the scientific demands for podium performance through a systematic path from early stages.

“I am happy NAAZ had actually started this, what’s important is to fine tune how these coaches will implement the LTAD,” said Nhubu.

The implementation of the programme is also expected to help the national association push for establishment of clubs from cluster to national level.

Nhubu said they are going to have some workshops, when circumstances allow, to exchange ideas with coaches.


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