The Sunday News
ZIMBABWEANS have been challenged to embrace sports science if the nation is to make a global impact.
This was said by Thabani Gonye the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee president on the sidelines of the organisation’s strategic planning workshop which started in the Capital on Friday.
Gonye said sports science now plays a prominent role in sport than before. In order for local athletes to conquer the world he said there was need to follow global trends.
“For instance we are coming from on and offs in sport caused by the Covid 19 pandemic. It is important that we get psychologists to work with athletes, there are dangers of a health nature associated with the return, there are also worries with the impact the breaks have had on the sportspersons. So sports scientists have a role to play,” said Gonye.
The former sprinter and Athletics Zimbabwe secretary-general said sports science was now key in that it detailed even physiological matters to do with specific sports codes.
“It’s got to be integrated into our programmes as it’s speaks to the needs of individual sports codes in so far as physiological matters are concerned. We now need analysts, nutrionists as well to get the best out of our talented athletes,” said Gonye.
Gonye challenged Zimbabweans to be part of the sporting matrix to ensure success at the Olympics and other international competitions.
He said private sector support for sport would complement the work of Government, national sports associations and athletes towards podium positions in sport around the world.
He said Olympic success was a process and not an event.
“The process starts with identifying talent at elementary level, developing it, right exposure backed by scientific approach and resources up to medal position. You can’t do away with any of those and succeed, there are no short cuts to real success that is sustainable,” said Gonye.
Speaking about the just ended ZOC strategic planning and implementation cycle, he said there were successes on corporate governess. The organisation had continued to achieve organisational effectiveness and a heads up from international motherbodies adding that local national associations that are part of the movement were also trying to up the game in compliance to retain membership.
The Olympic movement is the international motherbody of most sporting codes and it’s World Cup of it’s international bodies is held every four years.
In the 2016-2020 period ZOC assisted several athletes through their scholarship programme and the Zimbabwe Rugby Sevens.
He said he was disappointed with Tokyo 2021 as a small team made the trip.
“After a good 2008 where Honourable Minister Kirsty Coventry won silverware, Ngoni Makusha (long jumper) and Brian Dzingai (200m) had finished fourth in their respective events, hopes were high the country would build on that inspiration.
“Obviously am not happy with the numbers and results, by now judging from 2008 where in athletics and swimming we did well, we should be far by now in terms of numbers and quality of the results. We should have had the inspiration going forward,” said the ZOC boss.
In the next cycle Gonye hopes Zimbabweans will grow to understand Olympian as a way of life and not an event that happens every four years. He said they would enhance their visibility and have deliberate synchronises programmes to create a pathway to both the Youth Olympics and the main one for deserving athletes.
The workshop is being facilitated by international facilitator Robert Mutsauki and in attendance are administrators drawn from the about 30 national associations who are members of the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee.
Minister Coventry attended the first day of the event and spoke on the plight of former stars calling for associations and clubs to come up with plans for athletes’ lives after retiring.
She said Government through the Ministry of Sport and Sport and Recreation would work with national sports associations, Zimbabwe National Paralympic Committee and Zimbabwe Olympic Committee to take sportspersons to the next level.