Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
LEADING sports management organisation, Sports Leaders Institute of Zimbabwe (Sliz), seeks to capacitate local administrators by enrolling them for online courses it will run in conjunction with West Virginia University and Kent State University.
Sliz wants administrators and coaches to use the Covid-19 enforced break to find other ways of generating revenue away from the field of play as well as to prepare themselves for return of activity as better leaders.
Russell Mhiribidi, Sliz president, said all courses start next month and will be certified by the two higher learning institutions.
Sliz first partnered with West Virginia University in 2017 and entered into an alliance with Kent University last year to offer scientific sports programmes.
Mhiribidi said they will run three courses with West Virginia University and these are level one, two and three programmes.
“It’s just a continuation of programmes with West Virginia University and Kent State University. Here in Zimbabwe we have people who’ve done level one and two of the programme, and now we are moving to level three, which is all about extracting the value of sports management.
“Level one is all about basic fundamentals of sports management, with level two focusing on drawing up functional sports business management. Level three is about monetising sports management and increasing revenue streams as opposed to relying on gatetakings for football clubs.
“You know, gatetakings in any sport are like subsistence farming where you’re just farming to feed your family, but now we are saying let’s widen the horizon and get real value for sports,” said Mhiribidi.
He said they will do “serious” case studies peculiar to Zimbabwe and come up with implementable solutions.
“With Kent University, we introduced sports science modules, focusing on strength condition and the effects of nutrients in sports last year.
“Participants also get to be exposed to the psychological effects in sports, like how it’s important for athletes to have adequate sleep or rest so that their performance improves,” Mhiribidi said.
He has urged Zimbabwe’s sports administrators and coaches to register for the classes to help capacitate themselves.
Mhiribidi noted that “illiterate” administrators were hampering progress in the country’s sports industry, saying such ignorant administrators are retrogressive and should not be allowed to lead any association.
For the country to realise full benefits from the sports industry, which has the potential to create numerous job opportunities for many, knowledgeable leaders should be trained.
“Sliz is committed to capacity development of administrators because we believe the foundation of a strong sporting nation is having people that understand fundamentals of leadership. You get worried when you see illiterate people holding key positions in big associations. There is a strong need to have literate people that understand that sport is evolving and capacitation is key to unlocking revenue.
“As such, our sports leaders must take this Covid-19 break to equip themselves so that when action returns, we’ve good leaders that will deliver. This year should be used to generate ideas and capacitate ourselves for the good of the sports industry,” said Mhiribidi. – @ZililoR.