SPORTS Commission director for sport development Joseph Muchechetere has said there is going to be a paradigm shift in the way national associations are operating as the supreme sports body seeks to instil professionalism in the industry.
With most national associations operate on a voluntary basis with no offices and secretariat to run their day to day operations there has been a lot of challenges for sport to realise its full potential.
However, Muchechetere said they are currently working with the Ministry of Sport and Recreation and the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing to map the way forward to ensure that national sport associations have offices they can operate from.
“As SRC we are engaging the national associations seriously. We are going to their offices, we want to see where they are operating from, identify the challenges, so that we are able to prescribe what needs to be done.
“We are saying the National Sports Stadium has been in place for some time. When it was built at one stage we had national sport associations operating there including ZIFA, rugby and athletics, they used to operate from the National Sports Stadium.
“Currently we are also saying together with the Ministry of Sport and Recreation there is need now to have the national associations moving back to the National Sport Stadium. Because of socio-economic challenges and when it was being refurbished from 2006 all occupants were moved but after the refurbishments we didn’t see the associations coming back.
“So we are discussing with the Ministry of Sport and Recreation and the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, so that national associations, which do not operate from fixed places have offices at the National Sports Stadium.
“But the exercise is work in progress because there are quite a number of things that have to be put in place,” said Muchechetere.
The Sports Commission director for sport development said of the 54 associations in the country about 10 to 15 including ZIFA, Zimbabwe Cricket, Tennis Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe Rugby Union have permanent offices.
Muchechetere said if the sport industry is to scale greater heights there is need to move away from the casual approach before adding that they are taking issues of good governance and compliance seriously, which has resulted in some associations being summoned by the commission for failing to comply with their Act.
“We are moving from sport being just a pass time and disorganised thing.
We are moving to create a Sport and Recreation industry that can create employment and contribute to socio-economic development and the realisation of ZimAsset.
“We have started engaging the national sport associations. This is why now we are having these disciplinary hearings. There is going to be a paradigm shift from the pass time sport to real sport.
“What we have discovered is that some of these national associations their financial base is very low. And for anyone to employ people and find places to rent they need money but we have also said to ourselves the basic requirement for an association to exist is they have to have membership.
“If the national associations are serious about getting organised, be able to raise money in order to have some form of offices and secretariat they have to be organised in terms of membership through membership fees and joining fees.
“They should go out there in full force and make sure they are organised. This is the route to go. We cannot look for sponsorship when we are not organised. You need to fund yourselves and improve your activities then sponsors will start coming in because the response by most national associations has been “we don’t have money” but it’s because they are not organised,” said Muchechetere.
Currently, there are ongoing disciplinary hearings for 10 associations summoned by the commission last November and Muchechetere said they are likely to summon more associations that are not in compliance with supreme sports body.