February 11, 2020

World class facilities gone to ruin – Coventry

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Mukudzei Chingwere

ZIMBABWE’S Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Minister Kirsty Coventry is not happy with the way infrastructure in the country has been neglected.

The Confederation of African Football recently condemned major football
stadiums except for Barbourfields in Bulawayo.

Pictures of the poor sports infrastructure in the country have also been in the media recently, laying bare the alarming state of neglect. The former Olympian poured her heart out in a Facebook post on Tuesday morning after touring Chitungwiza Aquatic Complex and Magamba hockey stadium in Harare.

“What a waste. World class facilities in Zimbabwe that have gone to ruin,” she wrote.

“Our National Sports Stadium has been condemned by Fifa and by CAF. These are only pictures from Chitungwiza Aquatic Complex and Magamba hockey stadium but it’s the same story throughout our country.”

Despite being a sports minister, Coventry is no ordinary administrator, but was an extraordinarily good athlete during her days.She is arguably Africa’s greatest Olympian of all time with seven medals – with back-to-back gold medals in 2004 and 2008 along with four silver medals and a bronze.

She competed at five Olympic championships in succession from 2000 to 2016, before calling time on an illustrious swimming career.

In the same Facebook post, she took her followers down memory lane, showing how the neglect of sports infrastructure in the country has affected upcoming athletes.

“I was a kid who volunteered during the 1995 All Africa Games in Harare and competed in this pool.

“To think that we could have had world class swimmers from Chitungwiza…would have been amazing…but is still possible if we act now!

“Time to change this and bring back our national pride. More information soon…”

Meanwhile, the Zifa First Instance Board is on a nationwide stadium inspection crusade ahead of the start of the 2020 Premiership season.

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