Zim swimming's passionate plea

HARARE - Swimming – a sport which gave Zimbabwe its first individual Olympic champion – still struggles to attract sponsorship despite it being potentially one of the country’s most successful sports.

Mashonaland Swimming Board chairperson Niroshia Abdulla said this ahead of the National Senior Swimming Championships which start at Les Brown in Harare today.

Abdulla also lamented the state of the country’s swimming facilities, which she says have been neglected.

"We do not have good facilities and we are now appealing to the co-operate world and the government to come and help us,” Abdulla told the Daily News yesterday. 

"It's a shame to tell you no one is sponsoring this high prestigious event, this is not good because this event is a springboard from which the most talented swimmers have launched their careers.”

The five-day event will see top swimmers from Matabeleland, Mashonaland, Mashonaland Country District, Midlands, Masvingo and Manicaland taking part and the event in the 12-and-Under, 13 to 14-year-olds, 15 to 16-year-olds and the 17 and over age-groups.

Abdulla also took the opportunity to talk up her province’s chances in the championships. Mashonaland are the defending champions.

"We (Mashonaland) are now ready to for the event, we have done our preparations.”

Mashonaland won the last year’s event after finishing with 3 171 points, followed by Matabeleland with 1 529 points. Mashonaland Country District finished third with 440 points.

However, despite some remarkable performances from some of the country’s top swimmers like Nicholas Burnett (late), James Lawson, Ashby Tink, Natasha Lawson, Hollie Stander, Mieke Koen and Courtney McAllister, no national records were broken last year.

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