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Things fall apart at Magamba Hockey Stadium

 

Once touted as the best hockey stadium on the continent, the multi-million dollar sports facility was built towards the 6th All Africa Games, which Zimbabwe hosted in 1995.

However, the once glittering state-of-the-art stadium is decaying.

 

When Standardsport visited the stadium last week, the black dog and its puppies, barked threateningly at people who invaded “its space”.

 

The playful puppies were busy tugging and ripping apart the astro turf.

 

The electronic scoreboard was not working, a signal of how things have not been ticking at the stadium.

 

From a distance you would think someone is practicing ridge and furrow farming in the turf.

 

The blue bucket seats have fallen victim to the elements of weather and have been destroyed.

 

garbage and old broken furniture have been piled just outside  changing rooms. A broken John Deere tractor, which was once used to maintain the ground, is also parked at the stadium. The taps are leaking and some of the electrical fittings in the changing rooms have been vandalised.

The media and medical rooms have also not been spared as they are also crumbling.

 

Built by the Ministry of Public Works and handed over to the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) ahead of the All Africa Games, the facility was world-class and one of the best hockey stadia on the continent, but neglect and the disintegration of the turf have led to the stadium being unusable.

 

The Minister of Education, Sports, Arts and Culture David Coltart said he was aware of the decay at Magamba adding that US$1,3 million was needed to renovate the sports facility.

 

“I spoke to Mr Leandro Negre — President of FIH — the hockey equivalent of Fifa in football when he was here for the African Olympic qualifiers in September and there is a possibility that if we as government renovate Magamba, Zimbabwe will be granted the right to hold a World Cup qualifying tournament next year. I have actually advised the cabinet about the development. But all this will require the government to allocate a budget amounting to US$1,3 million in the 2012 budget,”  Coltart said.

 

The Hockey Association of Zimbabwe has hosted international events such as the 6th All Africa Games in 1995, the Women’s World Cup qualifier in 1997, Junior Africa Cup of Nations (men and women) in 1997 and the African Cup of Nations (women) in 1998 at Magamba.

 

It also hosted the Africa Cup of Nations (men) in 2000 and the Africa Cup of Club Champions in 1996 and 1999.

 

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