Ansa awards: rewarding mediocrity

HARARE - In the year where Zimbabwean sports performed dismally, the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) through its premier event, the Annual National Sports Awards (Ansa), surprisingly increased the number of categories and nominations.

Two more categories were added to the traditional 13 whilst 81 nominees were added to the last year’s 39.
This effectively increased the usual number of three per each category to five and six in the event organised to honour and reward sporting excellence.

The move to inflate nominations, according to judges panel Paul Nenjarama, was on the grounds of acknowledging potential and making it difficult for media to know the winners beforehand. However, with all due respect, this excuse against the back drop of one of the worst years of Zimbabwe sport does not hold water.

It simply symbolises that SRC is honouring mediocrity.

It baffles many observers, including athletes themselves, who feel this year they never reached expected heights.

Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor, whose team has been nominated for the Team of the Year Award, perhaps best described the country’s dismal sporting performance this year.

Taylor was speaking after amassing top prizes at the 2012 Zimbabwe Cricket awards last month.
“We probably shouldn’t have had the awards this year. There was nothing really,” he said.

Despite Taylor’s view, his team somehow find themselves battling for the Team of the Year Award.

However, amidst such mediocrity, some personalities held their own in their respective fields.

Sadly some of these athletes are not on the 120 strong list of nominations, chief amongst them Axcil Jeffries, the second African driver to compete on the FIA Formula Two Championship.

Young Jefferies, who is Goodwill Ambassador for the charity Childline, enjoyed a promising debut Formula Two season to finish 12th overall, scoring points in eight of the 12 races he started.

From the judges report it was ascertained that Jeffries was a casualty of a flawed system.

The national associations failed to hand in candidates for the awards in accordance to SRC statutory provisions.

However, motosport’s incompetence is just a tip of the iceberg as many deserving athletes’ names were not submitted to the judges’ panel. “We are very disappointed that some associations failed to submit names.

We understand associations have quarterly meetings with the SRC but we don’t understand why they do not submit names,” Nenjarama said.

The judges panel is set to meet on November 29 to deliberate on the winners that will be announced on December 13 at a function in the capital. And if Taylor’s views are anything to go by, then Zimbabwe will have to be content with celebrating mediocrity.

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