Swaz in re-launch

HARARE - The re-launch of Sports Writers Association of Zimbabwe (Swaz) over the weekend has triggered high expectation within the sporting fraternity that sport journalists have finally found a voice.

Swaz which had been dormant since 2014 after a fall out due to leadership wrangles was re-launched in Harare on Saturday after massive outcry from journalists over lack of representation.

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) immediately ushered in an interim committee to steer the ship until an elective Congress expected in April next year.

Interim Swaz chairperson Goodwill Zunidza expressed optimism of the road ahead.

The veteran journalists said the body will strive to enhance the skills of all sports journalists, while hold sports associations to account and ensuring that all sporting disciplines are well rewarded.

“Most of the current sports awards you see now in Zimbabwe are as a result of Swaz, chief among them the Soccer Star of the Year award,” Zunidza told the Daily News.

“We want to go beyond that and ensure that athletes in all sport codes get their place in the sun. Swaz is the only internationally recognised body. I am only here to lay the foundation.”

The revival of the association comes as Zimbabwe sports journalists have missed out on international workshops because of lack of representation.

Zunidza said the association will help build the bridge for sport journalists who remain constrained by finance and limited capacity building.

“The profession has grown over the years with increased number of sports journalists. We will strive to make a difference for the next executive, reminding members of the need to be professional in their daily work,” Zunidza said.

In his speech, Zimbabwe Insurance Brokers marketing executive, Maxwell Gatsi urged soccer clubs to go the professional route and take insurance cover for their players in the event of either death, disability or permanent injury while on duty.

Zimbabwe Insurance Brokers are Swaz's official title sponsor.

Gatsi cited the recent tragedy of CAPS United captain Hardlife Zvirekwi and suggested an insurance policy covering such mishaps would have benefitted the player.

“It only takes a little percentage of their salary bill to open such policies. We have many sad cases of players who died in road accidents involving teams,  and former players who are now on the streets after sustaining career- shattering injuries,'' said Gatsi, advising that in foreign countries including South Africa such players stood to earn hefty retirement sums from their insurer.

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