Support qualifying athletes: Nyoni

23 Aug, 2021 - 00:08 0 Views
Support qualifying athletes: Nyoni

The Herald

Ellina Mhlanga in NAIROBI, Kenya

ATHLETICS coach Zibusiso Nyoni says support for local athletes when they qualify for international competitions is critical to their preparations.

This comes after the country’s representatives at the World Athletics Under-20 Championships that ended yesterday struggled at the junior championships.

Clinton Muunga and Samkeliso Ndebele could not go beyond the first round in their respective events.

Muunga was competing in both the men’s 100m and 200m events, and Ndebele participated in the women’s 200m event. 

The athletes last had competition in May when they qualified and Nyoni said it was a huge influencing factor on the overall performance. 

“I think we are missing a point. When the athletes qualified everybody knew that the athletes qualified but what was done for them to access the stadium, to access probably resources for them to be able to train?

“I think we are missing it somewhere, somehow. How do we make a follow-up on our athletes that have qualified to this level of competition?

“I think there was a need probably for them to have been allowed to train in a restricted area, in a way that they are actually brought together and train in the same area and remain together for a period of maybe three, four weeks training in the same arena so that we actually assess the way they were training in a scenario of that nature,” said Nyoni. 

Although most activities have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic that has had ripple effects across all sectors, including sport, Nyoni said it goes beyond the pandemic. 

“I think everything escalated because of the pandemic. But the bottom line is, are we doing enough for these athletes when they qualify? 

“Are we giving them enough opportunity to actually train or measure their capabilities or we are waiting for the main competition to actually say this is what is happening?

“Probably give them access to High Performance Centres to get them where they can be assisted in a better environment.

“We need to work hard. We really need to work hard and actually look at athletics or sports from a different angle, this is not a part-time job. This has to be viewed as a livelihood for some people.

“So we need to actually work hard to assist those athletes to get support, be it financial support, government support and give them like access or getting the right to certain grounds, or certain advantages,” Nyoni said.

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