THE country’s athletics administration board — the National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe (NAAZ) — is using its annual general meeting to craft a plan meant to facilitate effective participation of local athletes in international competitions next year.
The NAAZ annual general meeting, which starts with a federation strengthening workshop today, is being held in Harare.
In an interview, NAAZ president Tendai Tagara said they will use their annual general meeting to plan for the World Juniors Championships, 2020 Olympics, Africa Seniors Championships among other international competitions.
The former Mutare Polytechnic lecturer said the participation of local athletes in international competitions in 2019 was greatly affected by financial challenges.
“We are going to have our federation strengthening workshop on Friday (today) that will lead us into the annual general meeting on Saturday and conclude the workshop on Sunday.
“As an association we are taking this opportunity to strategise on forthcoming international events that include the Olympics 2020, Africa Junior Championships to be held in Kenya, the Africa Seniors Championships in May and for us the latter focuses more on relay.
“2019 was a bit difficult in terms of our participation in international events given the financial meltdown that the country experienced or is still experiencing.
‘‘We will take this opportunity to see how best we can safeguard our athletes’ interests especially when it comes to participation in international events,” said Tagara.
In some of the recent international contests, Zimbabwe has been fielding an enterprising four by one relay team that includes Ngoni Mukusha, Tendai Tsumba, Dickson Kapandura and Dickson Kamungeremu as well as triple jumper Tatenda Mapaya based in the United States of America.
In fact, Mapaya was the only Zimbabwean track athlete in the World Championships in Doha.
Tagara said the association will also take time to draw up the national calendar for 2020.
“This is also a chance for us to craft the national calendar for 2020. We will also see to it that we take steps to accelerate the effective participation of our district representatives in national administration of the sport.
“We really need to see all the 72 districts communicating regularly and participating in the governance and administration of athletics in the country,” said Tagara.