THE Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) says it will prioritise sending high quality athletes instead of numbers as the country prepares for the All-Africa Games to be held in Congo Brazzaville in September.
SRC corporate communications officer Tirivashe Nheweyembwa said they had agreed on a number of issues in a meeting with national sports associations that was held in Harare on Tuesday.
“We had a meeting with National Sporting Associations (NSAs) yesterday (Tuesday),” he said.
“The Zimbabwe All-Africa Games team chéf de mission Joseph Muchechetere emphasised the importance of sending high quality athletes instead of sending large numbers of athletes and not getting good results.
“We agreed that NSAs needed to complete appointment of technical staff in preparation for the games.”
Nheweyembwa said they were hoping to send athletes who would perform well against opponents from other countries.
“What is going to be done is that some of the sporting disciplines might be dropped,” he said.
“A decision will be arrived at on which sporting disciplines will represent the country and which will be dropped.
“There will be a technical and management committee arm which has SRC, Zimbabwe Olympic Committee and National Paralympic Committee that will vet NSAs’ technical plans. NSAs will submit and then defend their technical plans.”
He said they were happy that some sporting associations had started preparations for the competition early.
“We are glad to say that there are sporting disciplines which began preparations for this year’s All-Africa Games three years ago,” he said.
“This means that they are in the right direction as we want teams that will excel in the competition.”
It was agreed that athletes who were expected to qualify for the Olympic Games be part of the All-Africa Games teams as this would give them the chance to gauge their strengths and weaknesses.
The SRC spokesperson said it was the prerogative of the associations to look for funds if they were taking part in qualifiers, saying the government would chip in at a later stage.
“Sporting associations are supposed to source their own funds,” he said.
“There will be management committees that will help in the sourcing of funds. Government grants will come in since these are national games.”
The All-Africa Games sports extravaganza will showcase 22 sporting disciplines.
Sporting associations which include athletics, cycling, swimming, basketball, karate and badminton attended the meeting.
Zimbabwe sent 170 athletes in 17 disciplines to the 10th All-Africa Games in Maputo, Mozambique, in 2011 finishing on position 11 out of 43 countries.