Byo steps up preparations for Paralympics

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The Bulawayo Metropolitan Province has stepped up preparations for the National Paralympics Games set for Chinhoyi from April 7 to April 11.

160 athletes are expected to travel together with 25 officials for the games and they go into camp on Tuesday.

Sports and Recreation Commission co-ordinator for the province Sam Dzvimbu yesterday said the province was geared to take part in the games.

“We have done very well in the past in the Paralympic Games. We came second in last year’s games, but this time we want to surpass our previous records,” he said.

“The team will go into camp next week. We are already prepared for the Games, but we want to use the camp for fine tuning as we want the athletes to be a unit and not as individuals. We want the athletes to be psychologically prepared in camp,” he said.

The athletes have been training in venues like King George, Founders High School and Freedom House in preparation for the games.

Dzvimbu thanked the Bulawayo community for the support they are giving the team in preparing for the games after managing to get a bus for the trip to the Mashonaland West capital, fuel and food.

“The community has come in very handy. We appreciate the support that we are getting from the community as we prepare for the Games,” he said.

The Paralympic Games will see eight visually impaired athletes participating in track and field events.

The athletes will feature in events which include wheelchair basketball while two visually impaired athletes will take part in the five-kilometre race.

Athletes in wheelchairs will do battle in the five-kilometre race and there will be a category for athletics for amputees.

Wheelchair tennis, five-a-side soccer, football and netball for hearing-impaired athletes are some of the events lined up.