Ellina Mhlanga, Harare Bureau
NATIONAL Athletics Association of Zimbabwe director for coaching, talent identification and development Lisimati Phakamile is hopeful the sprints seminars, starting today at Northlea High School in Bulawayo, will contribute a lot in their efforts to take the sport to the next level.
The seminars will be conducted by top Botswana sprints coach, Mogomotsi Otsetswe, with the first one starting today at Northlea High School running until tomorrow.
Otsetswe will then move to Harare for a similar seminar at Belvedere Technical Teachers’ College scheduled for Friday and Saturday.
The top Botswana coach was in Zimbabwe early this year on the same programme and Phakamile said after seeing some progress made by the juniors this year, they decided to bring him back.
“He is going to be looking at sprinting events, training and development of sprinters. He will also look at how to groom sprinters and maintain their form as well as their sprinting skills and capabilities.
“He will look at strategising sprints events, that’s 100m, 200m and 400, for instance, how to run 400m and also have a look at relays.
“He is going to focus on coaches, as well, how to coach relays and individual athletes, elite athletes,” said Phakamile.
The seminars are open to all coaches involved in athletics and 50 participants are expected to be part of the programme.
Phakamile said they feel privileged to have Otsetswe coming here to assist local coaches as he is regarded as one of the top coaches on the continent and has contributed a lot in his own country’s rise in international events.
Zimbabwe is looking at participating in several major competitions next year, including the African Youth Games in Algeria, which are serving as the qualifying competition for the Youth Olympic Games in Argentina next October.
They also have the Junior World Championships in Finland and the Africa Senior Championships in Nigeria.
NAAZ president Tendai Tagara said this is a platform for the coaches to learn and share their experiences as they prepare for next year.
“We are happy that Mr Mogomotsi is coming back to Zimbabwe to share with us the sprint techniques. This is the platform for Zimbabwean coaches to share such an experience in terms of how to coach sprints.
”So his coming here is well received in Zimbabwe.
“He visited Zimbabwe in February, the results were very positive and we had a record of 36 juniors qualifying for Africa Junior Championships in Algeria.
“And we have shifted the idea of coaching, these are the coaches we want to work with, who are producing results,” said Tagara.