Lack of sponsorship hits athletics events


Lack of sponsorship has forced organisers to cancel the Matopos 33-miler and National University of Science and Technology 21km athletics events that had been set for Monday.

Matopos Conservation Society secretary Jean Whiley on Wednesday told NewsDay Sport that the event has been cancelled and will be back next year as they do not have money to sponsor the tournament this year.

“We were proposing that the event be resurrected, but we have nothing in the pipeline for this year. We do not have the resources. It is not going to be there,” said Whiley.

Whiley said it was unfortunate not to have the race because it used to be one of the major athletics events over the years.

“In the past years this was a big event as it was regional. Athletes used to take part in this event so as to prepare for the Comrades Marathon. That is why we wanted to resuscitate it because it used to be such a big event,” she said.

Bhekuzulu Khumalo, one of the organisers said:

“The event has been cancelled. There was no specific sponsor and people were not forthcoming with sponsorship. We have cancelled because we do not want to have a shoddy race.”

The cancellation of the race will deal a heavy blow to athletes as it would have given them time to prepare for other regional and international events that are lined up for this year.

The National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe has not helped matters either in terms of approaching the corporate sector to sponsor major events.