Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Acting Sports Editor
THE Sports and Recreation Commission will next week hold a stakeholders’ consultative meeting for Matabeleland North province that will culminate in the formulation of a national sports and recreation strategy.
The indaba will be held at the Mhlahlandlela government building next week Tuesday, according to an invite that has been sent to various stakeholders.
“The meeting will be held on 15 October, 2019 at Mhlahlandlela conference room. As you may be aware, the Sports and Recreation Commission is spearheading the process to formulate the National Sports and Recreation strategy culminating in the launch of the strategy on 21 November, 2019. This meeting will afford you the opportunity to communicate your needs, expectations, challenges and recommendations for consideration in the scope of the strategy,” reads the invite.
Hopes will however be high that the indaba will culminate in tangible outcomes with proper guidelines on how to implement them instead of just being another white paper that will gather dust in the various offices.
In 2016, the government launched what then looked like a great blue print, the National Sports and Recreation Policy which also set certain guidelines on various national teams’ selection criteria.
According to the foreword of the 2016 policy, it was formulated to provide a framework within which sport and recreaction activities are to be promoted and supported in order to realise the vision of an active, empowered and excelling sporting nation.
“This policy provides for a framework of implementation of talent identification and the application of scientific methods in the development of such talent. Further it seeks to prioritise high level of training for coaches, managers, techncial and administrative officials to build the nation’s capacity for international competitiveness.”
If those guidelines were followed to the letter, a number of problems bedevilling the sports sector with regards to selection of national team representatives wouldn’t be upon the nation at the moment.
“The difference between the one that was launched in 2016 and what we are doing now is that the former gives general guidelines while what we are doing gives exact direction, it tells us how we should do things whereas the 2016 one tells us what should be done. In strategy you become more specific and detailed whereas in policy you only give broad parameters,” said the Commission.
The delegates to next week’s indaba are also expected to advocate for a deliberate funding of national teams and sporting events by the central government while legislators also ought to push through Parliament a law that will have corporates that are involved in funding sports being incentivised through such means as tax rebates.