Coventry gets AFZ backing Minister Coventry

Sports Reporters
COMMANDER of the Air Force of Zimbabwe, Elson Moyo, has said they are fully behind the country’s swimming icon Kirsty Coventry’s quest to develop sport at grassroots level.

Following her appointment as the Minister of Youth, Sports, Art and Recreation, the seven-time Olympic Games medallist is widely expected to transform the country’s sporting fortunes for the better given her colourful CV as a gifted athlete.

Moyo said the service men do not only take sports for its aesthetic values of recreation but also as a form of employment creation in line with the Government’s quest to create more jobs.

The Air Force Commander was speaking at the Josiah Tungamirai Air Force base where he was the guest of honour at the AFZ inter-base sports week competitions closing ceremony in Gweru.

“I am therefore pleased to note that in all the sporting rivalries and partying that dominated the past few days, the ultimate winner was the sporting fraternity and the Air Force of Zimbabwe family at large.

“I am quite convinced that the more perspective among you are alive to the fact that this annual sporting extravaganza is an important platform for the developments of grassroots sports.

“In this vein, the AFZ undertakes to support the thrust adopted by the new Sports Minister (Kirsty Coventry) to develop grassroots sport whilst at the same time maintaining competitive sportspersons at national and international levels,” said the Air Force of Zimbabwe Commander.

“The AFZ is therefore privileged to contribute competitive sportspersons from different disciplines at national level.

“We are part of many institutions that play an important role of feeding raw talent into the national pool of sportspersons.

“We fully appreciate the fact that sport should not only be for recreation, but it should be a form of employment.

“In the AFZ we take particular interest in the participation of officers and members in sport because it is a key enabler in the performance of our various duties in defence of Zimbabwe’s airspace and territorial integrity.

“Military personnel are expected to always be physically and mentally fit, thus it is a no brainier that any individual who partakes in sport will more likely maintain a balanced physical and mental life, which as I have indicated earlier is a pre-requisite in the performance of all military duties.

“In view of this important role played by sports in the Air Force of Zimbabwe, we have over the years invested time and financial resources into sports development,” said Moyo.

The airmen competed in 28 sporting disciplines in an extravaganza that started on Sunday and ended on Wednesday in Gweru.

The host Josiah Tungamirai Air Force base was the team of the year followed by Manyame and Jaison Ziyapapa Moyo Air Force base came third.

Meanwhile the youth from the Harare Metropolitan Province yesterday had the opportunity to showcase their projects in various areas ranging from arts to sport at the provinces annual Youth Expo and Safer Cities Symposium at the Africa Unity Square.

The Youth Expo and Safer Cities Symposium ran under the theme “Building safe and sustainable cities through youth inclusion”.

The objectives of the expo included facilitating the interaction and networking of youths engaged in various activities, to provide a platform for young entrepreneurs to showcase various talents and to encourage active participation of youths in the mainstream economy.

It also presented the youths with a platform to attract sponsors and investors for youth business growth and expansion.

The symposium saw the Junior Parliament and Youth Alliance for Safer Cities (YASC) identifying some key areas that need to be addressed for communities to start moving towards safe, youth and child friendly spaces.

They looked at areas such as access to education, access to information for instance on issues to do with HIV/AIDS and youth participation in decision making processes among other topics.

Provincial head Harare Province (deputy director) in the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Nomsa Mpofu-Moyo said the event is a platform for youths to showcase their talent.

“So they were talking about issues such as education. They are looking at education, they are saying as youths we want to access schools, we don’t want to walk long distances to access schools. We want to be given the opportunity to grow as young citizens with the support of our seniors.

“Then the expo, it’s about our young entrepreneurs because we are the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation. So we work with the youth. The youths are into various projects, some of them are young artists who come up with maybe they stone carving, art and all sort of things. Some of them they are into sport.

“So we are saying this is an opportunity for them to showcase their talents. And maybe in that process they can meet some prospective sponsors or some prospective clients who can buy their products or even other businesspeople who were actually here at the expo who would want to support them or mentor them into coming successful businesspeople,” she said.

Some of the exhibitors included those involved in batique projects, sewing, crocheting and young musicians. Several sporting disciplines including boxing and wrestling were also part of the exhibition.

The event was graced by Coventry, who interacted with the exhibitors as they shared their challenges and how the ministry could assist.

She was accompanied by the permanent secretary in the Ministry, Thokozile Chitepo.

Also in attendance was Provincial Administrator for Harare Metropolitan province Cathrine Kampila, who commended the Ministry for its commitment to empowerment of the youth.

The event is organised by the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation, Harare Metropolitan Province, Junior Achievement of Zimbabwe, Justice for Children Trust and Plan International.

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