The Sunday News
Ngqwele Dube, Sports Correspondent
THE Sports and Recreation Commission has appointed a new Annual National Sports Awards judges panel that will be chaired by veteran sports broadcaster, Steve Vickers.
The panel was appointed on Friday and is expected preside over the 2019 Awards that are scheduled for next month. Vickers will be deputised by Joyce Kapota, who has worked with Special Olympics Zimbabwe and other members include Stephen Mudawarima, Ginny Ross, Witness Magalula, Ignatious Vambe and veteran journalist, Lovemore Dube.
Vickers said he was delighted by the honour he was granted to serve sport in another role. He said while it is a tough task, he believes with an able panel they will manage to handle the process effectively.
“It is different from handling the soccer stars which I have been involved with for quite a long period and I am now a convener, it covers more disciplines and wider selection but I am certain we will be able to handle the task well,” said Vickers.
He said they will be looking at making improvements and coming up with the best sportspersons’ list.
In previous years there had been concerns of some sportspersons being left out of the awards. Vickers said with the introduction of a performance tracking system by the SRC they are hoping to see a reduction in the number deserving athletes not being nominated for the awards.
In a statement, SRC Corporate Communications Officer Tirivashe Nheweyembwa said the panel of judges was appointed in line with the ANSA Policy which compels the SRC to appoint a separate independent committee to adjudicate over the nominations that would have been submitted by the National Sport Associations.
Apart from the Nominations the SRC also maintains a tracking report of all the athletes and teams. SRC Director General Prince Mupazviriho implored the committee to be as diligent and processional as possible as this was a national duty.
“You were appointed on the strength of your track record in sport and we have no doubt that you will be able to measure up to the expectations. As the SRC we shall not interfere with your work, we would want the adjudication process to be as transparent and open as possible. We will render all the necessary support that you will require. As you go about your work, it is also important for me to bring it to your attention that the results of your work feeds into the Regional Annual Sport Awards (RASA) and as a nation we have done exceptionally well since their inception in 2016 and we would want to surpass the achievements we made previously,” he said.
The previous board was headed by Thembi Moyo and its term came to an end.
Veteran sports journalist, Dube said he was honoured to be recognised with a major role in national sport.
Dube, a former sports editor at Chronicle, said he looks forward to adding value to the process.
“I have always played a role in sport in one form or the other all my life and I am glad to be been given a role that would make me of service to both sport and my country.
“We have to recognise the efforts that have been made by the previous panels, who I believe have done a great job and add to their efforts by doing our best,” he said.
The 2019 ANSA Awards ceremony will be held on 29 January 2020 in Harare.
Previous winners include the current Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Hon Dr Kirsty Coventry, Bredon de Jong, Samson Muripo, Charles Manyuchi, Stephen Muzhingi, Cara Black, Elliot Mujaji and others.
The Awards which are meant to celebrate and honour outstanding performance have been bankrolled by the Government through the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation and Delta Corporation. Other sponsors who have also come on board include Teecherz Furnitures.
Nheweyembwa said they are appealing for more sponsors to also partner the SRC to ensure the delivery of high-quality awards commensurate with their level.