Zim sport comes of age

HARARE – The Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) yesterday lauded strides being made by various sports personalities in Zimbabwe after some top athletes were shortlisted for regional awards.

The third edition of African Union Sports Council Region 5’s Regional Annual Sports Awards is scheduled for May 26 in Johannesburg South Africa and will see the country’s best performing athletes battling it out with their regional counterparts.

Karateka Shihan Samson Muripo is vying for the Sportsperson Of the Year gong against Botswana athletics champion Karabo Sibanda, Malawian footballer Bernadetta Mzika, Luvo Manyonga a South African athletics ace and Tony Tsabedze who plays for the Swaziland national football team.

Muripo is also in the running for Sportsman of the Year award while renowned bodybuilder Helen Costa Sinclair has been shortlisted for Sportswoman of the Year award.

Zimbabwe is also represented in the Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year with a disability courtesy of Elford Moyo of bodybuilding and Margaret Bangajena of wheelchair racing respectively.

Motorcross genius Tanyaradzwa Muzinda is set to fight for regional recognition in the Junior Sportswoman category while the Cheetahs, Zimbabwe Rugby Sevens are San-Francisco bound for the Sports Team of the Year.

The category also includes Botswana’s 4 x 400m men’s relay team, Namibian U20 National rugby team, the Springboks South African rugby team, Swaziland national football team Sihlangu and the Zambian U20 national football team.

“We are pleased that our Zimbabwean athletes continue to hoist our flag very high and this is expression of the highest performance standards that they continue to exhibit,” SRC spokesperson Tirivashe Nheweyembwa told the Daily News yesterday.

“It is a clear demonstration that Zimbabwean sport has come of age and generally being given the opportunity to compete with the region’s best can only make up us improve our performance standards. Our hope is that our athletes will do well at the regional awards thus raising our flag extremely high above other nations.”

National Federation of Zimbabwe Bodybuilding and Fitness secretary-general Quiet Shangai paid tribute to Costa Sinclair for continuously putting the sport of the map.

“It’s good for bodybuilding, fitness in particular and sport in the country. We are producing athletes who are good enough to compete for sports awards in the region,” Shangai told the Daily News.

“This has always been our goal as NFZBBF to ensure that our athletes are good enough to be ambassadors of our sport. Hellen is one such athlete who has made the fitness industry visible. We are happy for her as an individual and also excited as an industry and hopefully she will win the award in Zimbabwe.”

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