Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
THE government has raised concerns about racial imbalances in some sport codes in the country and has taken measures to encourage mass participation reflective of the black majority in the country.
Some sporting disciplines such as hockey, swimming and tennis have seen little participation by blacks despite nearly 38 years of independence.
Responding to a question from Mutasa South House of Assembly representative Irene Zindi during a question and answer session in Parliament last week on what the policy was on addressing racial imbalances in some sport codes, the Minister of Sport, Arts and Recreation Raymond Kazembe said he was equally worried by certain sport codes that still appear to be elitist.
“We have a deliberate policy to ensure that the imbalance is taken care of. Madam Speaker, our Constitution is very clear, it actually tries to ensure that there is no discrimination. In fact, everyone is allowed to play any sport in this country, but what we have noticed is that some sport codes are not that particular. Maybe it is because accessibility to the facilities is limited. This is why we are trying to demystify those so called elite sports by ensuring that we encourage mass participation by taking those sport disciplines to the masses,” said Kazembe.
He said his ministry had since embarked on a deliberate approach to encourage schools to build low cost tennis courts in rural areas.
“An example in point Madam Speaker is tennis. It is a programme that we have already started where we are encouraging schools and institutions to build low cost tennis courts. To date, 20 to 30, if not more tennis courts, are being constructed in various areas in rural areas. We are indeed concerned and we are doing our utmost to ensure that we encourage mass participation,” Kazembe said. — @skhumoyo2000