MINISTER of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Kirsty Coventry is deeply concerned with the deterioration of community facilities following a visit to Mabvuku Sports Centre last week. Coventry, who wanted a first-hand appreciation of the state of the facilities and how the athletes in the communities were faring, said there was need for urgent intervention by all stakeholders.
“What I saw was a mixture of hope and pain as there were inspiring stories and a few heart-breaking realities on the ground.
“I had a chance to talk to young sportspeople who are driven by nothing but passion to wake up every morning and practise diligently hoping to one day play at the highest level.
“Among those I met was 19-year-old Mike, who coaches a community volleyball team that also works as a platform for teaching adolescents on social issues.
“He said his wish is to use sport as a way of reducing ills like early marriages, drug abuse and other vices. I also had a conversation with Tererai (19), who together with his friends, have assembled a cricket team called Eastern Spartans.
“The cricket pitch at the facility needs to be spruced up so that Tererai and the Eastern Spartans can host matches in Mabvuku.’’
She said there was a lot of talent in the country.
“Zimbabwe has a lot of talent and, if those in the grassroots have access to enabling facilities, we can be a challenge in more sporting disciplines at regional, continental and global competitions because the talent pool will now be bigger.
“On the downside, I saw a lot of Broncleer bottles at the facility — this is a cough syrup which is being abused by a lot of youths. “We need a country of clean young people.’’