SPORT and Recreation Minister Makhosini Hlongwane says the government will integrate indigenous games such as ‘intsoro’ into the country’s major basket of sports.
Speaking in Murerezi in Mberengwa East constituency where he is also the MP, Hlongwane said his ministry would second coaches from different sporting disciplines such as rugby, cricket and football, among others, to every district in the country to spread sport outreach. It is during these rollout programmes that Hlongwane said indigenous games would also be integrated into the country’s sporting basket.
“We want to set up community clubs where sports such as cricket, football and rugby would be found even in rural areas. We’re going to second coaches who will provide guidance in such sports in all the districts,” said Hlongwane.
“However, we also want our indigenous games such as tsoro to be recognised. We want to bring such games to the same levels as football because they’ve been looked down upon for a long time. If you look at intsoro and chess, there isn’t much of a difference and we’ll therefore integrate such games into the country’s major sports.”
Among a raft of measures to ensure sports and recreation are decentralised to community level, Hlongwane said his ministry would be seconding youth officers from the Ministry of Youth, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment as sports officers.
“I engaged the Minister of Youth (Patrick) Zhuwao and we agreed that there should be a sports officer in each ward and these will be seconded from his ministry because government doesn’t have resources to recruit more personnel. He’ll be involved in schools and youths at community level as well as the traditional leadership in community sport and elderly recreation.”
Community dance clubs will also be formed for recreation purposes for the elderly in the rural areas. The government, through formulation of the draft sports policy, has committed to increasing participation in sports and recreation through the implementation of Community Sport and recreation Club systems for all people to engage in physical activity for the attainment of an active and healthy Zimbabwe.