Govt warns sports associations

HARARE - Sports minister Makhosini Hlongwane has warned leaders of national sports associations against treating their organisations as private entities that are immune to public scrutiny.

Addressing a national sports and recreation governance conference in the capital yesterday, Hlongwane reminded sporting associations of the need to be guided by the basic principles of good corporate governance.

Hlongwane made the remarks in apparent reference to comments made by Zimbabwe Football Association president Philip Chiyangwa, who claimed he was running a private entity thus making him immune to public scrutiny.

“Sport is a public sphere area and not a public sector,” Hlongwane said. “It is for everyone and leaders must understand their obligations.

“They should know that they are driving the agenda for the whole country. The weight of the obligation is huge because they need to meet expectations from the whole nation.

“Before running for the office leaders must understand the obligation that they are getting into and that it’s a broad spectrum. National sport associations are not private asserts but rather are public asserts.

“A lot of people are interested in what you are doing thus resist the temptation of privatising the sport. All national sporting leaders should come through a democratic election process.”

Hlongwane added: “The role of governance in any organisation can be understood as the fabric of any institution and a barometer which measures successes and failures. Governance also determines how institutions are presided over thus even deciding on their interaction with stakeholders.

“Some stakeholders are known for their poor public perception while others are known for their good names built over time.”

The conference was organised by the Sports ministry and the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) under the theme “Year of Governance. The conference was well attended with various sporting stakeholders gracing the occasion.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s best sporting talents for the year 2016 will be celebrated when the Annual National Sporting Awards (Ansa) is held this evening in the capital.

It is almost difficult to imagine any other Zimbabwean athlete who deserves to be recognised as the most outstanding sportsperson for this year than boxer Charles Manyuchi after he emerged the Boxing World Council (WBC) welterweight silver champion by defeating Russia’s Dmitry Mikhaylenko.

Manyuchi is likely to receive competition for the top honours from Magret Bangajena and Micheen Thornycroft, who are also in the running to receive recognition tonight.

Thornycroft reached the singles sculls A/B semi-finals at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games while Bangajena, who normally competes in the wheelchair marathons, helped the Zimbabwe rowing team qualify for the Paralympic Games in Rio.

Last year, bodybuilder Helen Costa Sinclair won the Sportsperson of the Year award after a stellar 2015 but this year she will not be defending her title after she took a sabbatical from the sport.

Ansa Nominees

Junior Sports Woman of the Year: Danielle Marie Bekker, Rebekah Oberholzer, Ciara Jessica Soper

Junior Sports Man of the Year: Chengetai Mapaya, Wayne Nkomo, Beaven Sibanda

Junior Sports Woman of the Year with a Disability: Moment Bhebhe, Grace Nyamadzawo, Libetra Shoko

Junior Sports Man of the Year with a Disability: Liberty Mazino, Tafadzwa Munyoro, Shepherd Patrick

Sports Woman of the Year: Camilla Ruth Kruger, Rutendo Nyahora, Micheen Thornycrof

Sports Man of the Year: Brian Chiringa, Charles Manyuchi, Scot Vincent

Sports Woman of the Year with a Disability: Margaret Bangajena, Thandiwe Ndlovu, Ratidzo Tom

Sports Man of the Year with a Disability: Elford Moyo, Michael Mudyanadzo, Munyaradzi Musariri

Team of the Year: Hockey Under-21, Mighty Warriors, Team Zim(AUSC) Under 17           

Coach of the Year: Rachel J Davies, Trish Davies, Ropafadzo Mutsauki

Technical Official of the Year: Agnes Chiroodza, Debi Jeans, Lucky Mlilo

Women and Sports Award: Grace Chirumanzu, Kirsty Coventry, Micheen Thornycroft

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