HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsAll-encompassing sports policy imperative

All-encompassing sports policy imperative

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THE Zimbabwe International Sevens Rugby Tournament will not be held this year due to lack of finances.

NewsDay Editorial

In the last three years, this has been one of the major highlights in the Zimbabwe rugby calendar and countries like Hong Kong, Russia and South Africa have come here to participate putting the country on the world map.

Unfortunately, the tournament is not on this year.

This should be some good news for the Sport, Arts and Culture ministry whose fixation has been Zifa and its myriad of challenges. The ministry should, however, also focus on problems affecting the funding of sport in general in Zimbabwe.

We remain convinced that sponsors are there despite the obvious economic downturn, but we believe that a clear lack of direction and national sports policy, which clearly spells out incentives for a sponsor, is a major stumbling block.

While it is important for the ministry to focus on sport, together with members of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Sport, Arts and Culture, it is important that they should not lose focus on the importance of a sport policy in the country to save some disciplines from disintegrating.

In fact, they should not be fixated on the dysfunctional Zifa to the detriment of everything sport in Zimbabwe.

Otherwise, one wonders when the government is going to realise that sport is no longer recreational, but an industry capable of contributing towards the much-hyped ZimAsset.
Narrow interests, lack of education and personal attacks have led us to where Zimbabwean sport is today as far as the country is concerned.

While football lovers are going to celebrate the downfall of the Cuthbert Dube-led Zifa board, it would be unfortunate for the Sports ministry to celebrate that as mission accomplished when there is so much more that needs to be done going forward in terms of general sports development and administration.

It is also unfortunate for Dube to dig in when it is all clear that together with his team they have failed football in this country.

Otherwise they are no better than other dirty minds floating around.

The Sports ministry should ensure that each and every discipline has a policy that is capable of creating employment and that no one destroys the little that is there.

Sports minister Andrew Langa and his deputy Tabetha Kanengoni-Malinga will be judged harshly if they fail to enunciate the goals of their ministry.

Sport is going down in the country with the only remaining sponsors being from the mining sector.
Has there been dialogue to engage these companies to widen the sponsorship of sport? Has there been a deliberate incentive to reward the sponsors?

When Lion Lager pulled out of the National Rugby League last year, did we hear anything from the ministry in terms of trying to re-engage Delta?

It appears the ministry does not have a clear policy on how to administer sport, let alone tighten its operating arm, the Sports and Recreation Commission.

Could this be the reason why Kanengoni-Malinga finds it easy to descend on Zifa directly bypassing the the Sports amd Recreation Commission?

Is the ministry aware if Zifa has any funding for the African Championships, Olympic and 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers or not?

The Rugby Sevens International Tournament has been cancelled and Tennis Zimbabwe is struggling to raise $100 000 for the Davis Cup.

The Basketball Union of Zimbabwe is hosting the Afro-Basket Championships next weekend where winners of the tournament will book a slot in the All-Africa Games which will be held in Congo Brazzaville from September 4 to 19.

So without a model to judge failing associations, there is little that government can do; hence we needs a sport policy.

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