Zim swimming coach in Hungary Ricardo Joe

Ellina Mhlanga

Senior Sports Reporter

UPCOMING swimming coach Ricardo Joe has been afforded an opportunity for further development after receiving an Olympic Solidarity Scholarship to attend an International Coaching Course at the Hungarian University of Sports Science. 

The former swimmer who coaches at Highlands swimming club arrived in Hungary on Sunday. 

The course got underway yesterday and is running until December 1. 

The primary aim of the Olympic Solidarity Scholarship Programme is to provide coaches with the opportunity to take advantage of high-level training resources to acquire knowledge, which they are then expected to place at the service of their respective national sports structures. The Olympic Solidarity Scholarship comes through the National Olympic Committee, which is the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee. 

For the next two months, Joe will be training in sport sciences, which allows the coach to take a basic training course in the field of applied sports sciences. 

Zimbabwe Swimming chairperson Zanele Nkomazana said they are preparing young coaches for future purposes. 

“We are trying to make sure that the young are educated to take over (from) the retiring. We have a lot of senior coaches due to retire, some have just retired, so when we saw the opportunity we took it. 

“This young coach used to swim for Sharks. He went up to AUSC (African Union Sports Council) Region 5, Angola. So he retired after school after swimming AUSC Region 5 (in) Angola and then got a job as a coach at the Dominican Convent. So he is a coach at Highlands swimming club focusing on learn to swim in junior swimming. 

“So we saw his potential when we took him to China for the University Games. He handled that very well and also handling senior swimmers. Obviously having swum with them he understands as an athlete what he is expected to do as a coach. So he did a good job,” said Nkomazana. Interested candidates had to apply for selection. 

“So when the opportunity for this scholarship came, we sent out an invite and he applied and he got it. So we are hoping he will bring back the knowledge and that will be very useful in our system to have these coaches training.

“That won’t be the end for him, he still needs to learn a lot and to be exposed.” 

Meanwhile the members of the team to compete at the Africa Aquatics Junior Swimming and Open Waters Championships are stepping up their preparations for the meet. 

The continental competition is due to take place from December 6 to 9 in Mauritius. 

“We are preparing for that one, they are training, we are pushing them. We have confirmed participation.

“We are looking at a budget of about US$50 000 for the whole team. Mauritius we are looking at about before kit – transport, accommodation that’s about US$2 500 each and we are self-funding. 

“So not everyone is affording but we are busy looking for corporates to try and assist. Hopefully we will get something, we never fail we always get (something),” said Nkomazana.

They are expecting to field a 16-member team.

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