Langa Rallies Team Zim (allAfrica.com)

| September 1, 2015

Sport, Arts and Culture Minister Andrew Langa says they are hopeful Team Zimbabwe will produce a better show and reap more medals at the African Games in Congo Brazzaville from September 3 to 19. Zimbabwe’s delegation is made up of 114 athletes who will compete in athletics, beach volleyball, cycling, gymnastics, football, judo, karate, taekwondo, tennis, swimming and sport for the disabled.

In 2011, Zimbabwe finished 11th out of 43 countries that participated in the Games in Mozambique with six gold, seven silver and two bronze. This year’s edition marks the 50th anniversary of the Games, formerly known as the All-Africa Games, and they will be returning Congo Brazzaville where they started in 1965.

Speaking at a send-off function for the team at Belvedere Teachers’ College yesterday, Langa said expectations were that the team will bring more medals. “As you go to these Games, remember that you will be carrying the Zimbabwean flag and, therefore, you will be carrying the nation’s hopes,” said Langa.

“We will naturally expect you to surpass the previous performance in which Team Zimbabwe came 11th out of 43 nations in 2011. It is our anticipation that you will excel in the competitions. “As you compete, let me remind you that the whole world will be watching you and, therefore, we expect you to exhibit Fair Play in how you compete.

“We do not expect you to employ win-at-all-costs tactics in order to win, rather, it is the nation’s hope that you shall compete according to the rules and regulations of the competitions.” Langa said they were grateful for the support the team received from the government who weighed in with $450 000. “As government, I am pleased that we have played our part to support Team Zimbabwe. Government provided the team with $450 000 through Treasury. This was against a total budget of $600 000.

“As a Ministry we are greatly indebted to the level of support that the team received. This is a clear demonstration of government’s commitment to sport programmes and vindication of the fact that sport continues to be on the government’s priority list. “The money received was used to procure the team’s kit, payment of participation fees, air fares for the team, allowances and winning incentives for the team members.

“It is however, disturbing to note that there has not been support from the corporate world. I am aware that times are hard but supporting teams like this would have provided the companies with an opportunity to be marketed beyond our borders and at a continental stage. “This is a lost opportunity for the local companies to be marketed through sport at a higher level,” Langa said.

He said they were working on a sports policy that will also address the issue of incentives for companies that support sports programmes. “As a Ministry, we are currently putting together the sports policy which will, among other things, seek to address the incentives that companies will get when they sponsor sport programmes.

“I, therefore, want to appeal to the corporate world to partner us in delivering sport programmes. Our sport sector can grow to become a viable industry if government and the private sector work together.

“Finally, as you leave the country to participate in the African Games which are owned by the African Union, which is chaired by His Excellency President Robert Mugabe, I urge you to observe the highest standards of sportsmanship and discipline on and off the fields of play all the time. You are embarking on an ambassadorial role on behalf of the nation.

“His Excellency the President of Republic of Zimbabwe and Chairman of the African Union is confident you are going to bring medals home and wishes you all the best,” said Langa. Team Zimbabwe deputy chef de mission, Joe Rugwete, said the team was travelling in batches depending on when their competition starts.

“The team is travelling in batches as and when people compete. We have made sure that people will have at least two full days while they are in Brazzaville before they start competing. “The reason is that some people are employed, some are in school and they can’t afford to be in Brazzaville for the whole month. “So that’s why the traveling arrangements are staggered in that manner. Today, gymnastics have already gone, the last one will be around the 13th of September.

“They are adequately prepared, the only challenge we had is we didn’t have the chance to camp them outside the country like what our neighbouring teams are doing. South Africa for example was in Spain, Botswana was in Germany but we managed to do what we could do locally,” said Rugwete. Chef de mission for the team, Joseph Muchechetere, is already in Congo Brazzaville and the Under-23 football team was expected to leave last night.

Team Zimbabwe

Athletics

Keegan Cooke, Kenneth Chibwana, Rodwell Ndlovu, Francis Zimwara, Olivia Chitate, Constance Nyasango, Annah Bungu.

Managers

Precious Tarakino, Taitos Madzingo.

Sports for people living with disability

Laina Sithole, Faustina Madziva, Shepherd Gumede, lucky Chitimbe.

Stella Mutasa (coach), Reward Zvinavashe (manager), Elliot Mujaji (coach).

Beach Volleyball

Progress Gasa, Viola Muchaoona, Simbarashe Chidziwa, Douglas Choto.

Nyashadzashe Takawira (manager), Vengai Nyaude (coach).

Cycling

Skye Davidson, Helen Mitchell, Nkulumo Dube, Albert Kirevha.

Linda Davidson (coach), Anthony Greenway (mechanic).

Karate

Unesu Hlahla, Gerald Muusha, Innocent Gaini, Winston Nyanhete, David Dube, Victor Bunu.

Paul Danisa (head coach), Eugene Moody (coach).

Gymnastics

Kudzaishe Nyazvigo, Priveledge Sande.

Christopher Muchatuta (manager).

Judo

Lazarus Arufandika, Sydney Chibwayi.

Smart Tiyazimba (manager).

Swimming

Kirsty Coventry, Tarryn Rennie, Sean Gunn, Peter Wetzlar, James Lawson, Chad Idenson.

Lorna Riley (manager), Gareth Desmond (manager).

Tennis

Takanyi Garanganga, Mark Fynn, Valeria Bhunu, Pauline Chawafambira, Rufaro Chirewa.

Martin Dzuwa (coach).

Taekwondo

Philip Rufasha, Fungai Magomelo, Phinias Dzingi, Admire Tshitshiliza.

Ndaona Kembo (coach).

Medical Team

Margaret Maulana, Kelvin Mupunga, Silence Gwanyamwanya, Pauline Tshuma, Farai Muguwe, Tatenda Nhapi, Samson Chavhe, Pamela Ndangana.

Team Management

Joseph Muchechetere (chef de mission), Joe Rugwete (deputy chef de mission administration), Kathy Lobb (deputy chef de mission technical), Dorothy Masawi (chief medical officer), Chipo Pasipanodya (finance officer), Moreways Changa (administration and technical services officer), James Chanetsa (Games attache).

Country Delegation

Andrew Langa (Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture), Raphael Faranisi (Ambassador — Kinshasa, DRC), Thokozile Chitepo (Permanent Secretary Ministry of Sport, Arts and Culture), Benson Dube (Principal Director Ministry of Sport, Arts and Culture), Edward Siwela (Sports Commission Board chairman), Miriam Mushayi (Sports Commission Commissioner one), Ethan Dube (Sports Commission Commissioner two), Michael Bulagango (Zimbabwe National Paralympic Committee president), Admire Masenda (Zimbabwe Olympic Committee), Charles Nhemachena (Sports Commission director general), Belinda Mutinhiri (Zimbabwe Tourism Authority), Shuvai Murumbi (Zimbabwe Tourism Authority).

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