Zimbabwe News

Five athletes, 13 officials: Zimbabwe’s embarrassingly large Olympic Games delegation

By Sports Reporter

Zimbabwean sports fans have poured scorn on the bloated delegation of at least 13 officials which will accompany only five athletes who will represent the country at the rescheduled 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games due to take place from July 23 to August 8 in Japan.

The country will field its lowest number of athletes at the Olympic Games since independence in 1980 with only five athletes expected to lift the country’s banner in Tokyo.

The athletes include swimmers Donata Katai and Peter Wetzlar, sprinter Ngoni Makusha, rower Peter Purcell-Gilpin and golfer Scott Vincent

Failure to qualify for the Olympics by local athletes has been blamed on lack of meaningful investment in sports development by the government and other stakeholders.

However, despite having a small team, officials dominate the delegation with 13 in total expected to be on the plane to Tokyo.

In addition to the athletes’ coaches and Zimbabwe Olympic Committee officials, other officials who will be part of the delegation to the Tokyo Olympic Games are  Sports and Recreation Commission chairman Gerald Mlotshwa, the parliamentary portfolio committee for sport chairman Mathias Tongofa and Tariro Kadzirange, who is the PA to the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Kirsty Coventry.

Minister Coventry, who is the country’s most successful Olympian, was not named on the Zimbabwe delegation as she is expected to attend the Tokyo Olympic Games in her capacity as a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC)’s powerful executive board.

The Zimbabwe team at the Olympic Games will be led by the ZOC vice president Fredreck, who was recently named the country’s chef de mission for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Ndlovu took over the chef de mission role from Thabani Gonye, who will be travelling to the Games in his capacity as president. Gonye was elected ZOC president in April.

Other ZOC officials include the organisation’s chief executive Stephen Mudawarima and team administrator Memory Pakati.

Another curious inclusion on the Team Zimbabwe delegation is that of the Zimbabwe Golf Association president Mufaro Chivonivoni, who will travel to the Olympics as “coach” to professional golfer Scott Vincent.

Meanwhile ZOC has defended the high number of officials in Zimbabwe’s delegation.

“The Government delegation is travelling under the National Olympic Committee Transferable Guests Accreditation. The IOC approved accreditation guidelines allow NOCs to invite Key Stakeholders to the games. Transferable means they will all not be there at the same time but one after the other,” ZOC general secretary Mudawarima said in a statement.

“The Invited Guests are the Chairman of the SRC and the Chairman of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation. These are key positions which have a serious bearing on the trajectory of our sport. The Olympic games provide the biggest opportunity and exposure to observe best practise and world class standards.”

He added: “The inclusion of the Portfolio Committee Chairperson stemmed from the realization of the need to expose our legislative support systems to high performance sport and its standard requirements which have been perennially underestimated in terms of budgetary support. It also emanates from the need for experiential learning by way of participation for informed guidance and legislative support of sport development and promotion.”

Do you have a coronavirus story? You can email us on:

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button