President Mnangagwa challenges sportspersons

PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has challenged sports-persons to value the Zimbabwean badge whenever they are called to represent the country in international competitions.

He was the Guest of Honour at the official opening of the 5 000-seater Heart Stadium built by Prophet Walter Magaya at the Yadah hotel in Waterfalls on Sunday.

While commending the good work put together by Prophet Magaya, President Mnangagwa called upon athletes picked for national duty to carry the flag with the honour it thoroughly deserves.

“This (construction of Heart Stadium) is critically important as modern sporting infrastructure goes a long way to enhance the quality and standards of our sporting disciplines and ultimately impacts the overall performance of our national teams,” said President Mnangagwa.

“On their part, our sports personalities must recognise the weighty responsibility entailed by wearing the “Zimbabwe jersey”, no matter the discipline.

“They must guard against a casual approach to sport.

“We expect our national teams to be self-driven and to win international fixtures”.

President Mnangagwa urged national team selectors to pick national team representatives based on merit.

He emphasised on the need for systematic development of athletes through the establishment of proper academies that nurture talent.

“Equally, our national team selection processes must be above reproach.

“Talent and hard honest work must be rewarded and the best players must be given the opportunity to represent our country.”

He added:

“We must also ensure that the right building blocks are put in place for highly competitive local leagues, towards strengthening our community sports structures, across all disciplines.

“I, thus, call on stakeholders to support strong junior leagues and the setting up of sporting academies as the bedrock for competitive sports in our country.

“Local authorities are called upon to facilitate the development of this project and similar initiatives.

“Aspects such as accommodation, accessibility and health facilities should be incorporated in development projects of this nature”.

He said sport is a significant driver of the economy and should be taken seriously.

“The sport and recreation industry has become a notable driver of economic growth through enhanced country image, sports tourism, meetings and conferences.

“In view of the immense potential of the sector, my government will continue to take all practical steps and measures to facilitate and encourage sporting and recreational activities across the country and amongst all age groups,” President Mnangagwa said.

“I urge us all to continue marching forward in unity as we build our beloved motherland, Zimbabwe, brick by brick and stone upon stone.

“Once again, I thank you Prophet Walter Magaya and the congregants of PHD Ministries, for contributing to our national development priority areas.

“The determination and leadership you have demonstrated, through this noble initiative, stands as a beacon for others to follow”.

Herald

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