Air Zim strike costs Chinese martial arts visit

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The industrial action by pilots at Air Zimbabwe has denied the Zimbabwe Wushu Association a high-level visit from the Chinese Wushu Federation and the Beijing Shaolin Wushu School.
Wushu is a form of martial arts.

In a statement on Tuesday, the Zimbabwe Wushu Association president Muzondiwa Makowa said the three-member Chinese delegation had been expected in the country on Sunday aboard an Air Zimbabwe flight UM774.

The delegation had included the president of the Shaolin Wushu School Cheng Longfei, the vice president of the Chinese Wushu Federation Fu Biao and the secretary of the Chinese Wushu Association Zan Yuming.

Muzondiwa said a local Chinese had volunteered to fund the accommodation costs for the visit during the delegation’s week-long stay in the country.

He also added the Chinese trio was going to scout for high performance Wushu athletes for internship at the Beijing Shaolin School especially for athletes who would have excelled in shanshou (fighting).

The association had already put plans in place to hold a selection competition for wushu athletes, with the winners earmarked for the internship.

The two bodies were also expected
to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) which would have paved way for the development and promotion of local wushu.

A courtesy call to the Education, Sport, Arts and Culture minister Senator David Coltart, the Sport and Recreation Commission and the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee had also been planned.

A visit to various wushu training centres in the capital had also been earmarked and the association will regret having postponed their 10 years anniversary celebrations to coincide with the delegation’s visit.

Muzondiwa added that they remained hopeful that they would eventually sign the MOU in the future.

“All hope is however, not lost as the Zimbabwe Wushu Association executive is now considering going to China to sign the MOU as this is a heaven-sent opportunity that we cannot afford to lose. Failure to do so will deny us access to train at China’s prestigious wushu school which is a privilege enjoyed by Beijing’s wushu school’s elite aristocrats,” said Muzondiwa.