THE Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) will next year enter into contracts with all the country’s provinces to enable the commercialisation of the National Youth Games.
BY ALBERT MARUFU
In an interview with Standardsport ahead of this year’s 11th edition of the National Youth Games that begin in Bulawayo today, SRC’s communications officer Tirivashe Nheweyembwa said the whole idea was to make the Games self-sustaining.
This year’s Games run from today to August 17 and participants are expected to take part in athletics, basketball, boxing, handball, tennis, volleyball, soccer and netball.
“We believe that we have come of age and these Games should be self-sustaining instead of relying on the government funding as is the case. The provinces will market the Games in such a way that it will ease pressure on the SRC as well. This will however be a gradual process,” he said.
“The cost of running these Games varies from province to Province. Bulawayo presented a budget of $1,5million. If it was a rural province the costs might have been higher owing to the need to develop the infrastructure.”
Nheweyembwa said the Games’ draw inspiration from the success of unearthing talent that has gone on to shine for Zimbabwe.
“These are the Games that unearthed athletes Gabriel Mvumvure, Ngonidzashe Makusha, National Basketball Association [NBA] trialist Vitalis Chikoko and Highlanders goalkeeper Aerial Sibanda. The Games have also helped us in rehabilitating sporting facilities such as Pelandaba Stadium in Matebeleland South, the construction of four handball grounds at Bradley High school and an athletics track at Chipadze High school,” he said.
Turning to this year’s edition, Nheweyembwa said everything was now in place for a successful event.
“The province is ready to host the tournament. I am sure it will be a success,” he said.