Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
NATIONAL Athletics Association of Zimbabwe director for coaching, talent identification and development Lisimati Phakamile has described the just-ended seminars in Bulawayo and Harare as the prescription they needed in their bid to increase their numbers at international competitions next year. It will be a busy year for them in 2018, with the African Youth Games coming in in Algeria in July. The continental event will serve as a qualifier for the Summer Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in October. There is also the World Junior Championships in Finland, hence the move to involve mostly youths and juniors’ coaches, including those within the schools’ system.
The seniors are also not to be left out, with the African Senior Championships slated for next year in Nigeria. The seminars were conducted recently by top Botswana coach Mogomotsi Otsetswe. “Our preparations for next year’s major events have been boosted by these seminars as we seek to have a good number of athletes qualifying for the major championships. For example the Africa Seniors, World Junior and many other events coming in 2018,” said Phakamile.
Phakamile described the seminars as a success and urged the coaches to put into practise what they learnt if they are to make a difference in the sport. “The seminars have always been very informative and educative. They covered topics, which included the philosophy of sprints coaching, starts in sprints, use of starting blocks and planning of sprints training periodisation.
The seminars were attended by a mixed group comprising practising sprints and female coaches. “We had guest coaches coming from Botswana as participants as well. And they went through both theoretical and practical sessions with coach Otsetswe.
“Basically, the course was a success. Our coaches benefited a lot from the sessions. It’s now back to the track for coaches to go and implement their new knowledge with their clubs and athletes,” said Phakamile.
The national association had scheduled a training camp for the youths and juniors this month but it has since been moved to a later date.