VARIOUS national sports associations have welcomed the move for a separate sport ministry following the appointment of Andrew Langa as the Sport, Arts and Culture minister.
Previously sport fell under the Education, Sport, Arts and Culture ministry, headed by David Coltart. Ringisai Mapondera, the Zimbabwe Volleyball Association secretary-general told Southern Eye Sport that the ministry came when sport associations needed it most.
“We are very excited about the latest developments and we do hope that the incoming minister of sport will deal with the problems that national teams are facing.
“We now expect to see national teams getting financial support from the government, you can even ask the cricket team on how they are struggling to get their salaries just because the government does not support sport, but now that we have our own ministry, we are hoping for the best,” Mapondera said.
Mapondera pointed out that the men and women’s volleyball teams are preparing for next month’s Zonal World Cup qualifiers in Botswana and Zambia respectively and the association is in dire need of financial support.
Petros Masiyambumbi, the Zimbabwe Amateur Boxing Association technical director echoed the same sentiments.
“Sport will improve in the country because in the past, it has had no budget from the government; the Budget was only for education which hindered the operations of sport associations.
“We expect that very soon the ministry will ask for the budgets from associations, something that never happened before, something we needed most,” he said.
Leticia Chipanda, the Zimbabwe Netball Association spokesperson added: “We are happy about the ministry. We hope that the ministry will solve the problems the sport associations have been facing.”
Bulawayo Athletics Board chairperson Manuel Mpofu also praised the move.
“I think this is a blessing to all sport associations. We are now expecting a positive response to our problems from the ministry” he said.