|Editorial Comment: Minister Coltart offside|
|Saturday, 11 August 2012 00:00|
Minister Coltart spent the better part of last week using Facebook and Twitter to attack us, through our Sports Editor Collin Matiza, for our factual but unflattering coverage of Team Zimbabwe’s exploits in London.
So vicious were his diatribes that they ended up dividing respondents on racial lines with his mainly white friends siding with him, and black Zimbabweans subscribed to his Facebook page fighting from our corner.
Many, understandably, wondered whether the Minister had been miffed by the attack on the white Zimbabwean athletes, and queried why he was not similarly disposed when we write unflatteringly about the Warriors whom he has never travelled with on their numerous safaris.
Minister Coltart brought that scrutiny on himself, and we urge him to show equal concern regardless of whether the sport in question is the so-called minority or majority sport.
Be that as it may, as the media we are not obliged to report things as the minister sees them but as we see them.
It is a fact that the only time we get to hear about the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee is in the year preceding Olympics and during the games themselves yet any nation worth its salt knows that the most critical stage of the games is the intervening four-year period between games.
This is the time that should be used to identify, train and invest in athletes.
The games proper are nothing more than the time to showcase the preparations and celebrate the talent discovered and nurtured.
Instead of training his eyes on The Herald and its perceived omissions or commissions, the Honourable Minister should do his work by supervising those at ZOC to ensure that they get off their laurels.
Kirsty Coventry did us proud in Athens and Beijing. It was too much to expect her to defy age to recapture that spectacular form. She has run her lap for us. And we should all be proud that our country produced such a phenomenal athlete who flew our flag high over two Olympic meets.
Similarly in Beijing, long jumper, Ngonidzashe Makusha, put up a fine performance during which he was denied a medal by a mere centimetre in the final. It was quite regrettable that he was injured in the countdown to the London.
It is important to note that both Makusha and Kirsty were helped, to a large extent, by the training facilities and expertise they received during their lengthy stints in the United States. Their success had nothing to do with ZOC.
The bottom line is we are not doing enough for the Olympics. We did not have a master plan after Beijing which is why we are infact regressing.
From the 13 athletes we had in Beijing, we could only manage to send seven to London this year as most aspirants dismally failed to make the Olympic grade.
At this rate we may even fail to send anyone to Rio de Janeiro 2016. And this is what should pre-occupy Minister Coltart not whether our Sports Editor sees Team Zimbabwe as ugly ducklings or beautiful swans.
He should be guided accordingly.