Resumption of sporting activities: Ministry in talks with sports associations

By Skilder Makona

The Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation has confirmed ongoing engagements with national sports associations to pave way for safe return of sporting activities.

With the country having gone for over a year with very limited sporting activity owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, calls for the resumption of sport especially football have grown louder.

A director in the Sports Ministry, Eugenia Chidhakwa, however, says they are dealing with a delicate situation, which calls for a balancing act between the return of sporting activity and meeting World Health Organisation safety guidelines.

As the responsible ministry we are keen to see the return of all activities but we stand guided by the Covid-19 guidelines as we also work with other ministries like health. We understand people are eager and have been calling for the return but we are more concerned with the safety of athletes.

“We are, however, lobbying for athletes to be prioritized in the vaccination programme bso that we avoid the spread of the virus through sport. The Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation is indeed pleased to learn of the anxiety and apprehension that has gripped the nation over the continued sabbatical of some sporting disciplines as underlined by the inquiry from this esteemed Portfolio Committee.

“This show of appetite and deprivation by this house underlines the length and breadth of the role of sport in our life as Zimbabweans, particularly in these periods of distress, sombreness and isolation sponsored by the novel Corona Virus. It is also a depiction of this house’s consciousness of the role of sport in generating national feeling as well as in upscaling the happiness index amongst our own citizens.”

As the number of Covid-19 cases continues to fall, some sporting activities have been given the greenlight to resume but this excludes the countrys most popular sporting codes such as football, rugby, basketball, boxing and netball.

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