Wheelchair b/ball remain hopeful

HARARE - Aggrieved wheelchair basketball has welcomed the postponement of the Zimbabwe National Youth and Paralympic Games (NYG) owing to a typhoid outbreak in Gweru as a blessing in disguise.

The Games will now be held in December with the new dates set to be announced at a later date after consultations with various stakeholders.

Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) acting director-general Joseph Muchechetere in a media release expressed regret at the cancellation of the games but emphasised the decision was reached on humanitarian grounds.

“Following the outbreak of typhoid in Gweru and the subsequent investigations by the ministry of Health and Child Care, we have been in further consultations with the ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, the minister of State for Provincial Affairs for the Midlands Province, the SRC, the local organising committee for the Games and other key stakeholders for guidance on how to proceed with the matter at hand, resultantly we regret to advise that…the Games which were  scheduled to be
hosted from August 15- 28 have been postponed to December 2018,” Muchechetere said.

“This action has been necessitated by the need to avoid putting the lives of participating athletes and officials at risk of contracting possible typhoid. While the hosting of the Games has been deferred, other processes such as resource mobilisation to support the Games will go on until the Games are held in December. It is also in this regard that we wish to advise all provincial teams still in camp to decamp as a matter of urgency so that they do not continue to incur further costs.”

Wheelchair basketball had raised concerns for their omission in this year’s NYG on the eve of the postponement and has since lauded the move both on humanitarian grounds and most importantly for it gives them time to negotiate their way into the December edition.

Zimbabwe national wheelchair basketball team coach and Harare Province manager Job Kumunda said they will engage the organisers with the hope of being re-admitted into this year’s event.

“It is a blessing in disguise because this may be our opportunity to take part in this year’s edition. So far we are trying to mobilise all the provinces to have their teams in place so that we have a chance to play in December. We do have four provinces ready to date which is the general games requirement but we are surprised to note that those in position of authority have been speaking to the contrary,” Kumunda told the Daily News yesterday.

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