Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
THE National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe (Naaz) has joined the bandwagon of unscrupulous organisations and outlets using the US dollar parallel market exchange rate in its dealings after pegging fees for its upcoming training course using the illegal street rate.
Naaz has pegged its Level 1 course, set to run at White City Stadium in Bulawayo from October 22-31, at US$250 or $35 000, according to a letter signed by Naaz secretary-general Cynthia Phiri.
This means the association used the street rate of 1:140 rate instead of the official auction rate of 1:88.
Had Naaz used the official rate, course participants would have been asked to pay $22 000 in local currency.
“The National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe is inviting your athletics coach to attend an international coaches’ course to run from 22-31 October 2021 in Bulawayo. We have experts appointed by World Athletics that will conduct the courses. Only 20 coaches will be trained in the courses. Course fee: US$250 or now open to RTGS$35 000.
Pay deposit of $5 000 to secure slot; only four slots remaining. Due to Covid-19 regulations, (there’ll be) no food and accommodation. You are encouraged to pay at least US$50 deposit to secure a place,” wrote Phiri.
Naaz president Tendai Tagara has defended the decision to set course fees at US$250 which has scared away potential participants who believe it’s too high.
Tagara said the course fees are determined by World Athletics.
“The lecturers fees in USD are determined by the world body; it’s a set standard. Lecturers’ hotel food and accommodation, course administration such as local transport, stadium hiring, affiliations etc. If you look at Level 2, which we will run in December, we have to pay air tickets for two lecturers, one from Germany,” said Tagara.
“It is from these costs that the federation works out a budget. We believe those who can afford will develop and those who cannot can wait for the one or two world body slots at the Regional Development centre. The more coaches we train the better for our athletes,” he said.
“The fees in local currency have nothing to do with the rate. It’s all about what we want to be paid in local currency versus the remaining slots for the course.”
A Level 1 course in India saw participants paying US$330 for the 12-day course, which included accommodation and three meals per day for the entire duration, but for the Naaz course, athletes will provide own accommodation and meals for the nine days.