Triathlon Zimbabwe has sent four of their selected 2018 Buenos Aires Youth Olympic Games (YOG) prospective competitors to take part at the YOG Camp and race which is currently underway in Agadir, Morocco.
BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
Only three of the junior triathletes, Mikayla Colegrave (Hellenic Academy), Andie Kuipers (Peterhouse Girls) and Marcel Paulser (Peterhouse Boys) managed to make the trip to the occasion which began on November 1 and will conclude on November 9.
The other athlete, Matthew Denslow (Hellenic Academy) was unable to attend due to academic commitments as he is currently writing public examinations.
“The road to Buenos Aires will be long and hard, but will also be fun and full of new life experiences. None of these athletes are guaranteed a place at the Youth Olympic Games because there are several events involved leading up to the final qualifying Event,” Triathlon Zimbabwe secretary general Carol Pakenham told The Sports Hub.
“These fine young athletes will also have to compete in various events in 2018 such as our National Championships in February, SA Championships in March, Africa Championships in April (Rabat, Morocco) and the final qualifying event at the Africa Youth Games in Algiers, Algeria in July,” Pakenham added.
National coach Pam Fulton is in charge of the team at the YOG Camp.
“They will have a full programme of events, team building exercises, lectures and training with other athletes from all over Africa — a very exciting week ahead for them all. We would like to wish them all the very best in their endeavours over the next few months,” she said.
The YOG’s focus is to deliver an experience to the athletes both on and off the field of play which adds value to their sporting careers and beyond.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee (ZOC) has undertaken consultations with the national federations whose sport codes are on the YOG 2018 programme to determine the estimated team size.
This activity was also undertaken with a view to providing access to the limited support availed through Olympic Solidarity.
“ZOC received response and input from 12 sport codes, namely aquatics (swimming), archery, athletics, beach volleyball, equestrian, golf, 5-A-side hockey, karate, rowing, tennis, triathlon and Rugby Sevens,” ZOC chief executive officer Anna Mguni said.
“It is important to note, as directed by each international federation’s (IF) qualification standards, that there are limits to the numbers that will be permitted from each code and country, and in some instances, per continent.
“The national associations consulted have provided estimates in line with the limits set by the IF. Their athletes will be expected to take part in qualification events between now and the qualification cut-off date which is June 2018 for team sports and July 2018 for individual sports,” she said.
Through the grant, athletes will receive support to prepare and qualify for YOG 2018.
Because of the limited funding, preparatory events will be the responsibility of the national associations while ZOC will support participation in qualification competitions.