ZOC step up preparations

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The chef de mission of Team Zimbabwe at the London Olympic Games, Busi Chindove, will leave the country today for London where she will meet the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (Locog).

She will also meet Zimbabweans resident in the United Kingdom.
The meetings are part of Zimbabwe Olympic Committee (ZOC)s initiatives to ensure support for Team Zimbabwe at the Games and ensure adequate preparation. The Olympic Games run from July 27 to August 12 in London.
The meeting with Locog is part of the continuing dialogue to ensure we prepare adequately for our participation at the Olympic Games, Chindove told NewsDay Sport.
As you are aware, we have been trying to garner support for Team Zimbabwe locally through appealing for support morally, materially and financially, so we are adequately prepared to perform at the highest level of sports competition in the world.
We want our athletes to feel confident and motivated to do their best. In order for this to happen, we need the support of all Zimbabweans both at home and abroad, she said.
Seven athletes, Ngonidzashe Makusha (long jump), Kirsty Coventry (swimming), Cuthbert Nyasango, Wirimayi Juwao and Gilbert Mutandiro (marathon) and rowers Micheen Thornycroft and Jamie Fraser Mckenzie, have already qualified for the Olympics.
The meeting with Zimbabweans will take place on Monday at Alvin Hall, Institute of Education in London, and is being organised by the Zimbabwe Diaspora Olympics 2012 Support Network in partnership with the Zimbabwe Business Network.
Two-time Zimbabwean Olympian, sprinter Tawanda Chiwira, a former 400m specialist who represented the country at the Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000 Games, will also be in attendance.
The meetings with Zimbabweans in the UK is meant to motivate them to support the team by attending the games, by receiving them and giving them a rousing welcome when the team arrives in July and also ensuring they visit the Africa village.
For the first time in Olympic history, there will be an Africa village where participants and nationals from different African countries can get together and network.
We want to work with the various relevant government departments and ordinary Zimbabweans in London to make sure they are aware and they support the activities within the Africa village.
Chindove is expected to give an overview and key details regarding the possible composition of Zimbabwes Olympics team, the programme of activities between now and the Olympics and engage with the Zimbabwe UK Diaspora in support of the national Olympic team.
Chindoves presentation will be a key opportunity for Zimbabweans in the UK to get a first-hand update on Zimbabwes Olympic preparations and opportunities for their involvement.
On the other hand, ZOC will also obtain perspectives and explore opportunities from Zimbabwean entrepreneurs and sports enthusiasts.
ZOC is planning to set up a two-week pre-games training camp in Coventry in England and need approximately 20 000 to meet costs of hiring venues, equipment and accommodation.
With less than two weeks before the pre-games training contracts are signed, the City of Coventry has shown interest in hosting Team Zimbabwe because of their strong links with seven-time Olympic medal-winning swimmer Coventry.
Coventry made a visit to the city with which she shares her surname, in November last year.