After 10 years of waiting, the Sports and Recreation Com- mission (SRC), has finally inducted five more people into the sports Hall of Fame.
It has been a long wait since the first 10 inductions were done in 2005. Although no explanation has been given for the delay, it is heartening that the SRC has at least managed to induct five more great sportspersons, even as more were expected because of the 10-year lapse.
The five new inductees are the late footballer, Freddy Mkwesha — the first Zimbabwean European football export, who played for top Portuguese side Sporting Braga, which is participating in the Europa League.
Also inducted were athlete Benard Dzoma, tennis ace Patricia Molly Pretorius, squash player Gay Allison Erskine and swimmer John Keyter.
The rules are clear. For one to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, one has to have retired five or so years back. However, the question is on whether one has to have participated in sport in the 60s or 70s to be inducted into the Hall of Fame as what appears to be the case right now.
While it is good to have the older generation inducted into the Hall of Fame, it is also important to include the new generation whom the current generation of sport followers and aspiring sports persons are familiar with.
This will help to encourage the new crop of aspiring sporting heroes to emulate the achievements of the sports heroes they are familiar with.
How could the SRC ignore the achievements of the likes of the late Richard Tsimba — nicknamed the Black Diamond at the 1991 rugby World Cup? Richard, along with his young brother Kennedy were inducted into the International Rugby Board’s Hall of Fame, yet back at home his exploits continue to be ignored.
Is the SRC waiting for the International Tennis Federation to honour Byron and Wayne Black first before they themselves can appreciate what the two did for Zimbabwe?
Although Peter Ndlovu is employed by Mamelodi Sundowns as team manager, he retired from the field of play long back — soon after the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations finals. Doesn’t Ndlovu qualify to be inducted into the Hall of Fame?
What of the legendary golfer, Nick Price, a former world Number One. Doesn’t he deserve that recognition since he is no longer an active participant on the PGA Tour?
This is the time to honour the likes of the Blacks, Ndlovu, and Price instead of waiting for the time when they are no longer there.
There is refreshing news coming from the new minister of Sport and Recreation, Makhosini Hlongwane.
Hlongwane said he is going to meet the minister of Finance, Patrick Chinamasa to convince him to fund our national teams in 2016.
Since joining the international sporting world in 1980, the Zimbabwean government has never had an interest to invest in sport even though they have always expected good results.
In other countries, governments take charge of all national teams, helping to ease the pressure on national sporting associations who have financial challenges of their own.
On that premise, one hopes that Hlongwane’s move will bring the required results, and in return, bring success for Zimbabwe in international sporting competitions.
It is a fact that the Zimbabwean government does not have much financial resources, but the little they can part with will go a long way in assisting our national teams.
Half a loaf is better than nothing.
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