Dr. Kirsty Coventry, the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation has said Zimbabwe will be hosting major sporting events in the month of February namely the African Sporting Shooting Championships, the African Championship of Compak Sporting and the Bonaqua Troutbeck (ATU) Triathlon African Cup.
Addressing journalists in Harare today, Minister Coventry said the Troutbeck (ATU) Triathlon African Cup to be held on 22 February, 2020 is an International sanctioned event by the International Triathlon Union (ITU) with a 13-year history of being staged in Zimbabwe. A total of ten countries has confirmed participation in this event and these are South Africa, Tunisia, Namibia, Egypt, Mauritius, Brazil, Switzerland Syria and host Zimbabwe.
Congruently, the African Sporting Shooting Championships and the African Championship of Compak Sporting are internationally sanctioned events to be held between 24-29 February, 2020 at Elephant Hills in Victoria Falls. The event will draw its participants from 17 countries namely Britain, United States of America, France, Canada, Greece, Russia, German, Czech Republic, Hungary, Belgium, Netherlands, Namibia, South Africa, Poland, Republic of Ireland, Australia, host Nation Zimbabwe.
“The Ministry is indeed delighted to be hosting these two events particularly noting the composition and spatial distribution of member countries participating in these two events. It is our considered view that the hosting of these events on Zimbabwean soil underlines the strides being taken by the country in sport development through hosting of major events.
“It is our view as Ministry that the Triathlon and shooting events will play a pivotal role as softening agents in International Diplomacy by embracing athletes from the combined more than 20 countries visiting the country. The events are indeed an answer to the progressive will of Zimbabwe to the rest of the world through all elements of influence,” the Minister said.
Zimbabwe is expecting to receive more than a hundred direct participants for shooting and 40 for triathlon who will be accompanied by family and friends. She said the pouring visit for sport by athletes and enthusiast spells how sport has become a lucrative and continually growing marketplace worthy of immense investments for tourism.
“Furthermore, the convening of these two events also provides a platform for performance and skill enhancement for our athletes. Realising that, the Ministry said that promising athletes such as reigning Junior Sportsman of the year Mathew Denslow and Laurelle Brown have been added into the elite men’s and women’s event for Triathlon. This approach in my view, will enhance the quality and competitiveness of our athletes as well influence future outcomes in major events.
“Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to congratulate the Shooting Federation and the Triathlon Zimbabwe for bringing these two events on home soil and it is my personal wish to continue having National Sport Associations hosting events here in Zimbabwe,” Minister Coventry added.
Mr. Prince Mupazviriho, the Director of the Sports and Recreation Commission underscored the need for continued partnerships among government departments involved in the management of sports; the media and various sports bodies.