Coventry sees off Soz team

HARARE - Sports minister Kirsty Coventry has encouraged Abu Dhabi World Games-bound Special Olympics Zimbabwe (Soz) team not to be intimidated with the environment but to take pride in competing at the grand stage.

The 16-member team made up of eight golfers, four athletics and four bocce is set to leave on Wednesday. 
The games are scheduled to run from March 14 to 21 and the team was sent off by the minister during a function hosted for them at Chapman Golf Club in Harare.

“…Allow yourself to really take in the environment and take some time to be really proud of yourselves and to pat yourselves on the back and say I have made it here, now I’m gonna give everything that I have in my race whether it’s on the athletics track or on golf course…we are extremely proud of every single one of you,” Coventry said yesterday.

“…For me being here, being a part of the team in a small way even though I can’t travel with them, I will be screaming and shouting. I’m so proud of them and it’s all about being able to show people to not being scared or afraid just because someone is different. Our differences make us stronger and they should make us even stronger as a society.”

The former swimming icon said everyone should come together to forge partnerships regardless of any ideological or physical differences in order to rebuild the country.  She was given a red Soz scarf and a baby branded T-shirt from the association as her gift for officiating at the ceremony.

Soz director, Viola Musariri said the team will be getting into their final lap in camp on Monday before their departure for Abu Dhabi.
“We are on the homestretch and we are really excited…we are all ready and the team is excited. They are going into final camp on Monday they will be together until they leave so it’s all systems go, everything is ready and we are really happy with the support that we received from the corporate sector, from our partners form the volunteers and we wish they could continue supporting Special Olympics in future,” Musariri said.

“We are very happy with the team that we are taking this time around one of the golfers is actually a nominee for the Ansa awards tonight (last night he placed third) he’s also a golf ambassador for the Soz Special Olympics 2019 World Games his name is Munyaradzi Musariri.

“Alongside him we also have Michael Mudyanadzo and Raramai Mutingondo. Michael had gold medal in 2015 as well as Munyaradzi so in golf we really looking forward to getting more medals for this particular event. In athletics we have got Shepherd Patrick he’s doing very well. 

“In bocce we have doubles teams that are going to be participating so we are really looking forward to everybody coming back with a medal because they really prepared them well, they blended well and they are excited to be going to the World Games.”
 Bocce is a competitive game of strategy, skill and finesse that is a popular feature of the Special Olympics World Games programme. 
Consisting of singles, traditional doubles and unified doubles events, bocce is a closely contested sport that first appeared on the Special Olympics World Games programme in 1991.

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