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Provincial Newspapers The Times

Chimukoko calls for better sporting facilities


OLYMPIAN Abel Chimukoko has bemoaned the state of sporting facilities in the country and urged
athletes to be disciplined for them to have a brighter future.

Chimukoko, who is now a Zimbabwe Olympics Committee (ZOC) board member, was a key athlete
for Zimbabwe at the Olympic Games three decades ago.

He noted that the use of drugs to enhance performance has also affected athletes. He added that
drug and substance abuse by youths was also contributing to indiscipline by the youths.

Speaking to this publication on the sidelines of the recently held ZOC Safe Sports Summer Sports
Festival at Kwekwe High School, Chimukoko said: Sports facilities in Zimbabwe are in a dilapidated
state. Athletes are facing challenges in accessing sports facilities for training.

“For example soccer, all the stadiums have been condemned because they are failing to meet
international standards. In athletics, we only have four standard athletics tracks in the country, the
University of Zimbabwe, National Sports Stadium, NUST, and White City Stadium.

In this regard, we are facing a lot of challenges. If you do not have a training facility, it demotivates
an athlete. That is why the level of competition and quality is going down. Athletes need support in
pre-competition, during competition, and after competition.

“We have a lot of talent around Zimbabwe scouted by schools but being affected by lack of proper
sporting facilities,” he said.

The Minister of Sports Arts and Culture, Kirsty Coventry, last week pleaded with Treasury for funding
towards the development of sporting infrastructure, some of which have been neglected.
Chimukoko appealed to the corporate world to support councils and the government by
constructing standard sporting facilities.

“During our time we used to have lots of support from the corporate world. Prize monies
encouraged us to keep practicing and doing sports. These days, they are doing sports for wellness
only not for business. Sports should be done at the highest level of competition,” said the veteran
sports administrator.

He said since national federations were facing financial challenges to take local athletes further to
participate in international competitions, there was a need for the government to fully support
talented athletes.

He also spoke about the effects of drugs in sports.

Sports needs discipline and to be disciplined means training. If you do not train and want to win at
all costs this leads athletes to take performance-enhancing drugs. I say no drugs. Drugs have
negative effects on the well-being of athletes. Drugs have destroyed our youths, said Chimukoko.

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