Mnangagwa pays Soz team surprise visit

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa paid a courtesy call on the Special Olympics Zimbabwe (Soz) team that is currently raising the country’s flag high in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates giving them the much-needed moral support.

The Soz team left the country on March 6 to compete at the Special Olympics World Summer Games that kicked off in Abu Dhabi last Thursday and will run till tomorrow before the teams depart on Thursday.

Mnangagwa who was on a working visit in the UAE before cutting short his sojourn following devastating effects of Cyclone Idai that has claimed dozens of lives while also leaving a trail of destructing on livestock, land and infrastructure took time to cheer up the locals on Sunday.

Soz director, Viola Musariri said    
“We had a beautiful start to the Special Olympics World Summer Games here in Abu Dhabi when the team received a surprise visit from His Excellency just to come and wish the team well. 
“The president visited us at Yas Links where the team was teeing off on their first day of competition,” Musariri told the Daily News from Abu Dhabi yesterday.

“It’s exciting moments here…and we are really excited, the team is really in high spirits.”
Team Zimbabwe opened their account by clinching gold and silver medals in athletics; golf is currently in full swing while bocce begins their campaign this morning.
“We have eight team members participating in golf, three playing 18, two playing unified nine and other three playing skills.
“It was quite a big morale booster for the golf team whilst in Dubai, the athletics team started off on a very high note with Shepherd Patrick picking up a gold medal in the 800m race,” Musariri added.

“That also was a very good start that kind of gave other team members the impetus to go out and do their best. 
“We received our second medal from Barbara Ndlovu who picked up a silver medal in the 200m race that she participated in yesterday. It’s a very good start for our team and we are looking forward to the bocce team going into competition on Tuesday (today).

“The golf team continues with the 18th playing their second round of golf. 
“All the participants are going to be doing four rounds of golf and we will only get to know the results on March 20 (tomorrow) which is the last day of the competition.”
Sports minister Kirsty Coventry saw-off the 16-member team during a send-off ceremony held at Chapman Golf Club in Harare challenging the athletes to express themselves freely during the games.

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