Allen Khumalo, Sports Reporter
THE 2017 Zimbabwe Universities Sports Association (Zusa) Cluster One games hosted by the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) roared into life yesterday, with nine institutions competing in five sporting disciplines.
The three-day sporting event will see higher learning institutions which include the University of Zimbabwe (UZ), Nust, Midlands State University (MSU), Lupane State University (LSU), Reformed Church University (RCU), Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University, Women University in Africa, Africa University and Catholic University in Zimbabwe competing for honours in athletics, handball, hockey, cricket and volleyball.
Hockey, handball and volleyball will be played at Kumalo Hockey Stadium, Northlea High School and Milton respectively.
Cricket enthusiasts can follow the sport at the Old Mutual Heath Streak Cricket Academy and Bulawayo Athletics Club (BAC) while athletics will be held at White City Stadium on Sunday.
Speaking during the opening ceremony of the event which was held at Nust’s Ceremonial Hall, Matabeleland Hockey Board (MHB) president Kalpesh Parshotam, who was the guest of honour, warned against drug use to enhance performance.
“Every athlete will face both winning and losing. As such, student athletes must learn to deal with both and learn through them. Winning is a good thing but we must not win at the expense of others or at the expense of our character. I always get disappointed when I read about athletes who use performance-enhancing drugs to try and win competitions, age cheating or even the use of non-students in our games. I therefore urge you as athletes to be the leading lights in promoting and practicing fair play and sportsmanship. Participation is not only about winning, but also for passion, love, mental and physical health,” said Parshotam.
In his welcome remarks, Nust Acting Vice Chancellor Professor Samson Sibanda urged athletes to work hard and make the competition an unforgettable experience.
“I’m certain that all athletes taking part in this year’s event will compete in a friendly atmosphere governed by fair play and reflecting the true spirit of university sport. Great moments are born from great opportunity and as hosts, we have created this great platform for you to showcase your talents. So, as you compete in your various areas, you should strive to score more, go faster, go higher and go longer than before,” he said.
Zusa president Life Chemhere said Cluster Two games will be held at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) on March 31 to April 2 while Cluster Three games will be held at Great Zimbabwe University from April 7-9.
“These games are qualifiers for the Zimbabwe Tertiary Institutions Sports Union (ZTISU) to be held from July 17 to 24 and only the top two teams in every discipline will qualify for that competition. We are also selecting students to represent Zimbabwe at the World University games to be held in China,” said Chemhere.