AFTER seeing the lack of passion in athletics in today’s youngsters, Zimbabwe high jump record-holder Juma Phiri has come up with the idea of launching an athletics academy aimed at nurturing talent at grassroots level.
The academy, to be named Juma Phiri Athletics Academy, will be officially launched at a local hotel on Friday.
“The main reason why I have decided to launch this academy is because I have realised that today’s athletes do not have much passion like we used to. Nowadays athletes are only after money. That is why they do not succeed much.
“Money is important, but it is better if there is 100% passion for the sport first then one can,” he said.
He also said that the record he set in 1998 needed to be broken.
“I hold the national high jump record that I set in 1998 while I was at Hwange Athletics Club. I broke a record of 2,10m that had been set 10 years earlier. I jumped a height of 2,15m and I improved it the following week as I jumped a 2,16m. That record has been there since 1998 and that is a very long time. Athletes need to break that record.
“The academy is going to be at my former school Hamilton High. Hamilton used to be an athletics powerhouse, but it pains me to see that has lost its former glory in athletics. I think by having this academy I can nurture the athletes from the ages of 8-18,” he said.