Freedom Mutanda Sports Correspondent
Team Chipinge took the top gong in the National Association of Secondary School Heads (NASH) provincial athletics competition held at the Green Fuel sports arena at Chisumbanje last Friday as Team Mutasa threatened to upset the apple cart after it won most of the sprint relays in the closing stages. The host team fired blanks
Chipinge had always played second fiddle in athletics as it would either take the second from last or last position year in and year out. Things changed dramatically as the host’s war cry: to host is to win, came out true in the end.
Mr Claudious Rumbwere, the NASH Chipinge Head in Charge of the athletics discipline expressed satisfaction at the successful hosting and was excited about the win which had been elusive over the years.
“We are grateful to Green Fuel for their kind gesture of offering us the state of the art facilities here. Moreover, our athletes and technical staff made the day a success by their professional conduct. As for the win, I am very excited to have been the first HIC to bring the trophy to the district but we mustn’t sit on our laurels as next year we may return to our dismal failures,” he reminded guests and the students.
Chipinge had 20 gold medals while Mutasa had 19 which shows how neck to neck the competition was. In third place was Buhera with 16 golds. In the last position was Chimanimani with five golds. Makoni was fourth with 16 golds and with 13 gold medals was Mutare, a pale shadow of itself in fifth place. Nyanga was sixth with the same number of golds with Chimanimani but superior in silver and bronze medals.
It was the exploits of four athletes with a combined 12 golds among them which captured the imagination of any neutral onlooker. They won three golds apiece and these are: Huggins Munjari from Chibuwe, Makanaka Charamba from Hillcrest, Vimbai Maisvoreva from the same school and Elias Mungofa from Buhera.
Many spectators said the 20 and under boys’ relay race provided suspense and excitement among the watchers. With Nyanga seemingly running away with the baton as it was five metres clear at the home stretch, Mkanaka Charamba, reduced the distance with powerful strides and as the crowd roared, he brushed past the hapless Nyanga anchor and took gold from right under the nose of the Nyanga team which looked dejected at the end.
On 20 March, the winners troop into camp on their way to Kwekwe where they hope to replicate their form.
Mr Edward Shumba, the Provincial Education Director, graced the occasion and in his keynote address, urged the athletes to always remember that sports is big business. They ought to take sports as a form of job opportunity.