AS a serious final crisis continues to bite Zimbabwean sport, a dinner to fundraise $20 000 for the Africa Games team has been organised for August 14 before the athletes go into camp two weeks later in preparation for the Congo-Brazzaville trip.
BY FORTUNE MBELE
The games will be staged from September 4-19.
Sixty local athletes will be going into camp from August 27-31 before leaving for the 11th edition of the Africa Games.
The Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) has said the team requires at least $700 000 for the games.
Team Zimbabwe marketing and publicity manager David Simba yesterday confirmed the dinner dance, camping and departure dates.
“We will be holding a fund-raising dinner on August 14 at a hotel in Harare. We want to raise $20 000 during the dinner for the team. We are also in talks with a number of prospective partners and the talks are at an advanced stage, but we cannot go into detail for now as it might jeopardise our negotiations,” Simba said.
“The team will be going into camp from August 27 to 31 in Harare at a venue yet to be decided. About 60 athletes will be going into camp as the rest, about 40, are abroad. We are taking 100 athletes and 20 officials to the games,” he said.
With the men’s rugby sevens and gymnastics teams having pulled out, Team Zimbabwe will be represented in 11 sport codes that include the Under-23 Young Warriors football team, athletics, swimming, lawn tennis, men’s basketball, beach volleyball, cycling, judo, karate, tae-kwon-do and Sports for People with Disabilities.
Some of the athletes going to Congo-Brazzaville including swimming sensation Kirsty Coventry, sprinters Gabriel Mvumvure and Ngonidzashe Makusha, who also does long jump.
The athletics team also has middle distance runner Caroline Mhandu and decathlete Keegan Cooke.
Takanyi Garanganga, Benjamin Lock and Valerie Bhunu are in the tennis team with men’s basketball team having the likes of Vitalis Chikoko, Taurai Chitsinde, Tatenda Maturure and Brian Hore.
In cycling, Team Zimbabwe boasts of Helen Mitchell and Skye Davidson.
In judo, there is Lazarus Arufandika and Sidney Chibwayi, while karate has Innocent Gaini, Winstone Nyanhete, Gerald Muhusha and Nesu Hlahla with only Philip Rufasha representing the country in tae-kwon-do.
The Under-23 Young Warriors has the likes of Tatenda Mukuruva, Wisdom Mutasa, Walter Musona, Donovan Bernard, Lawrence Mhlanga, Teenage Hadebe and Tafadzwa Kutinyu.
At the weekend, the women’s national football team failed to travel to Ivory Coast for an Olympic Games qualifier.
A few months back, the national cricket team had to undertake a risky tour to Pakistan. The hockey team failed to travel to Egypt for Olympic qualifiers, while Zifa has failed to raise $81 000 to settle former Warriors coach Valinhos’ debt to enable the senior men’s team to participate in the World Cup draw on Saturday.