Tuesday, 11 February 2020

WHAT A WASTE : COVENTRY ON DERELICT FACILITIES

YOUTH, Sport, Arts and Recreation Minister Kirsty Coventry has described derelict multi-million dollar sporting facilities — Magamba Hockey Stadium and Chitungwiza Aquatic Complex as “a waste”.

The two facilities were constructed at the same time with Khumalo Hockey Stadium in Bulawayo and Mbare Netball Complex when Zimbabwe played host to the 1995 All-Africa Games.

Coventry said it is “time to change” and “bring back our national pride” following her recent tours of the Magamba and Chitungwiza Aquatic Complex.

“What a waste. World class facilities in Zimbabwe that have gone to ruin. Our National Sports Stadium has been condemned by Fifa and Caf. These are only pictures from Chitungwiza Aquatic Complex and Magamba Hockey Stadium, but it’s the same story throughout our country. I was a kid who volunteered during the 1995 All-Africa Games in Harare and competed in this pool. To think that we could have had world class swimmers from Chitungwiza . . . would have been amazing . . . but is still possible if we act now. Time to change this and bring back our national pride. More information soon,” wrote Coventry on her Facebook timeline.

The Chitungwiza Aquatic Complex, a multi-sports facility built for swimming, netball and basketball, among other disciplines, is now used for music shows.

Reacting to Coventry’s post, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority’s head of corporate affairs Godfrey Koti said: “Let’s keep our eyes on the ball Honourable Minister. Speaking from a Tourism perspective, we would want these facilities to operate at full capacity so we can realise immense benefits and a great proportion of revenues from the lucrative US$7 billion global Sports Tourism sector.”

Some people who also responded to Coventry’s post said priority should also be given to the National Sports Stadium, which was barred from hosting Fifa and Caf approved matches.
  
Barbourfields Stadium, Luveve Stadium, Khumalo Hockey Stadium, Bulawayo City Pool and White City Stadium received facelifts when Bulawayo hosted the 2014 African Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region V Under-20 Youth Games.

Others noted that in some areas, tennis courts, bowling greens and school fields are also in decay, adding that talent is lost after school as there are no facilities or systems to develop talented athletes.  Herald

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