BY MAGRETH RUZVIDZO
THE secretary-general for Hockey Association of Zimbabwe (HAZ) Sarah Bennett is delighted at raising the country’s flag at the Tokyo Olympics after she was appointed as a judge for the Men’s Gold Medal match between Australia and Belgium.
The match will take place today.
She has previously officiated top events. In 2018 she officiated in Women’s finals of the African Games and in 2019 she also became the youngest Zimbabwean official to be appointed to officiate at the Hockey Olympic qualifiers.
In an interview with NewsDaySport, Bennett says she feels highly honoured by this gesture and is looking forward to gaining more experience as well as making use of the skills she already has.
“It is an absolute honour to be appointed to the Men’s gold medal match between Belgium and Australia,” she said.
“The capacity to learn is a gift. The ability to learn is a skill. The willingness to learn is a choice.”
Bennet also expressed that the Olympic experience has been fulfilling as she has learnt a lot in the world of sport.
“The Olympics have been a dream come true even though it has been held under very different circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” she said.
“I have learnt that technical officials have a major part to play in the development of Zimbabwean sport as a whole. Without officials there is no game.”
Bennet is overwhelmed by the support she has been receiving over the years as this helped her in climbing the ladder to be where she is today.
“The support I have received from my friends, family and my employers (Ariel School Trust) over the years have played a major part in my growth as a technical official.”
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee (ZOC) also celebrated the appointment and thanked Bennett for raising the country’s flag high.
“We celebrated Sarah the other day! The celebrations continue, proudly Zimbabwean. Thank you for flying the flag high,” said ZOC in a statement.
The Hockey Association of Zimbabwe also expressed the same sentiments in a statement: “Congratulations to Sarah Bennett on her appointment as a judge for the Men’s Gold medal match at the Olympic games.”
Bennett is a former national hockey team goalkeeper, who is scaling up in her career and holds a number of influential positions in the Hockey fraternity.
In June 2020, the hockey governing body in Africa appointed Bennett as an executive board member of Africa Hockey Federation and in the same year she also won the Annual National Sports Awards (ANSA) technical official of the year.
Follow Magreth on Twitter @MagrethRuzvidzo