ZIMBABWEAN sport received a major vote of confidence with a record representation by local administrators and former athletes on the various commissions of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced yesterday.
Swimming icon Kirsty Coventry, Zimbabwe Olympic (ZOC) president Admire Masenda, ZOC chief executive Anna Mguni and former ZOC boss Tommy Sithole all feature in the commissions for 2014 announced by the IOC president Thomas Bach.
Masenda was retained in the Culture and Olympic Education Commission which advises the IOC on the promotion of culture and Olympic education and supports IOC programmes for education of youth through sport.
Mguni, who made history by becoming the first female chief executive at ZOC, will serve on the Entourage Commission which deals with matters concerning the relationships between athletes, coaches, managers, sponsors and all other stakeholders that support athletes.
Coventry, the Zimbabwean seven-time Olympic medalist was appointed to the Olympic Solidarity Commission along with Sithole, currently the secretary-general of the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa.
The Olympic Solidarity’s aim is to organise assistance for all the National Olympic Committees, particularly those with the greatest needs, so that they can develop their own structures to favour the expansion of sport in their countries.
Coventry together with other Zimbabwean athletes has in the past, benefited Olympic Solidarity programmes to help them prepare for Olympic Games.
ZOC described the appointment of four Zimbabweans on the IOC commissions as a proud achievement for sport in the county.
“On Tuesday the 1st of April, the International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach announced the composition of the IOC commissions for 2014, with an increase in female members (23%) and a much broader geographical representation.
“The make-up of the commissions, which provide assistance to the IOC and Olympic Games Organising Committees, reflects the Olympic Movement’s commitment to universality. There will now be two more commissions chaired by women and 22 more positions held by women in 2014 than in 2013 (female representation from Africa increased by 50%), and a significant overall increase in the representation of members from Africa and Oceania.
“Significantly, four Zimbabweans have been appointed on to the various IOC commissions. ZOC president Admire Masenda returns to the Culture and Olympic Education Commission; ZOC chief executive officer and secretary-general Anna Mguni has been appointed to the Entourage Commission; Kirsty Coventry who was elected to the Athletes’ Commission by her peers in 2012 in London, is also appointed along with Thomas A G Sithole, to the Olympic Solidarity Commission.
“This represents an unprecedented development and proud achievement for Zimbabwe sport administration,” ZOC in a statement, said.
The appointment of more Zimbabweans on various commissions comes at a time when the country was represented at the Winter Olympic Games for the first time in its history during the Sochi Games in Russia by Luke Steyn.