The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE is sending five athletes to the first ever Pan African Special Olympics Games to be held in Cairo, Egypt from 23 to 31 January.
Cleopatra Mero, Patience Mudarikwa, Mufarowashe Shambira, Barbra Njovo and Lisalobuhle Hleza, who all take part in athletics track events will represent Zimbabwe in Egypt while Cheryl Hove is travelling as their coach.
Paul Kaunda, the Special Olympics Zimbabwe national director is leading the Zimbabwean delegation. The first ever Pan Africa Games are being held under the auspices of the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El- Sisi who is the chairman of African Union.
Over 1 000 athletes from 47 African countries with Special Olympics programmes will participate in a competition which will last a week. Athletes will compete in four sporting codes which are athletics, basketball, bocce and football.
Since these are the first ever Pan African Games to be held in Africa, several guests and celebrities will attend, including Special Olympics International chief executive officer Mary Davis and the Egyptian President El-Sisi who will give an address during the opening ceremony.
The Zimbabwean team comprises athletes from different provinces who will be in camp from today until Tuesday to enable the coach to make final preparations before the team departs for Egypt on Wednesday. Njovo and Shambira were part of the Zimbabwean team which participated in the 2019 Special Olympics World Summer Games held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.