Jens Lekman said “Sometimes you have to burn yourself to the ground before you can rise like a phoenix from the ashes.” This is exactly what the current Zimbabwean min of youths, sports, arts and recreation Kirsty Leigh Coventry is doing.
In a space of two weeks Coventry has visited two local community sports centres namely Mabvuku Sports Centre and what is suppose to be Epworth Olympafrica Centre. It’s not a secret that if we all want to see high quality sports we must have better facilities and all this starts at grassroot level. Sports centre prepare our young athletes for success in sports and life.
The young athletes in the high density areas view everything as just another game/practice, this helping them value each training and gaining exposure with the little resources they have. The grounds and sports field are in a very sad state but this have not stopped the young athletes from playing sports. It’s not a secret that a whole lot of work needs and has to be done to make sure that our athletes train and play in grounds and sporting fields that prepare them to become elite athletes.
Lets us never underestimate the importance of sporting centres in our local community. Recent studies showed us that ghose who engage in sports and physical activity are more confident, confidence is very important in child development. This sllows our athletes to build self-esteem as they learn to trust in their own abilities. Teaching our athletes leadership, teamwork, problem solving, responsibility, self-discipline and sense of initiative.
With Coventry pace we should be prepared to see the minister visiting many more community sports centre in the country. Plans will be put in place to renovate the sports centres and we have to wait and see, knowing that Rome wasn’t built in a day. For now its intensity and engagement on the ground getting all the first hand information athlete to athlete and min to athlete.