Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
NATIONAL Athletics Association Zimbabwe (Naaz) hopes renovations at the National Sports Stadium meet Caf and Fifa standards will cascade to the track, making it satisfy World Athletics (WA) requirements.
Naaz has engaged the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) to assist in getting the facility certified to meet standards for hosting WA labelled events.
For a country to bid for hosting rights of WA competitions such as theDiamond, Gold, Silver and Bronze leagues, it must have at least two certified tracks.
Presently, Zimbabwe has five standard 400m tracks, the National Sports Stadium A and B arena, White City Stadium, University of Zimbabwe and National University of Science and Technology.
“Certified venues give us the opportunity to host labelled events WA diamond, gold, silver and bronze leagues. The issue of certificating is a recent thing which WA took up and they know challenges that federations have. We have written to SRC and they are considering ensuring upgrades are done to the athletics track during renovations at the National Sports Stadium,” said Tendai Tagara, the Naaz president.
WA is aware that renovations may involve re-topping of the existing synthetic surface, but indicated that the product used for re-topping will be shown on the new certificate although the advice of the laboratory that does the testing might be needed to determine appropriate additional thickness of synthetic and compatibility of the products in order to still meet the Track and Runway Synthetic Surface Testing Specifications.
The cost of certification for an athletics facility is pegged at US$10 000 for a Class One track and US$2 000 for a Class Two track, while extensions for both classes require a payment of US$1 000.