$1 million facelift for Magamba Hockey Stadium


Magamba Hockey Stadium will get a facelift after the Ministry of Education, Sport and Culture secured $1 million for its refurbishment ahead of the 2011 African Olympic qualifiers.
The Minister of Education, Sports and Culture David Coltart yesterday confirmed that his ministry had made a breakthrough after the Minister of Finance Tendai Biti agreed to provide $1,1 million to refurbish one stadium. “We have made a breakthrough in that the Minister of Finance has agreed to provide the funding needed to refurbish one stadium so that the country can host the Olympic qualifiers,” he said. “I am now in the process of finalising the arrangements with the Minister of Finance and soon I will be meeting with officials from the Hockey Association of Zimbabwe (HAZ) so that the disbursement of funds can start in preparation for the games next year,” said Coltart. After the refurbishment of Magamba, Khumalo Hockey Stadium in Bulawayo will also get a facelift. NewsDay is reliably informed that a South African contractor recently inspected the stadium to assess the kind of repairs that will be undertaken at the facility. The damage to the astro turf at the two venues has resulted in local players playing on grass when internationally, the sport is being played on astro turf. This has made local players to lag behind in terms of skills and techniques of the modern game. Coltart said having functional stadia would boost the popularity of the sport.
“Hockey is one of the major sports in the country and we have a lot of talented players but we have been losing most of them to neighbouring countries.
“All that should be a thing of the past if Magamba is hosting matches again,” said Coltart.