ZVISHAVANE- Zvishavane-based Great Dyke athletics club is appealing for assistance from the corporate world for funds to sustain the club.
The club is pleading for spikes for the athletes, running boards, vests, training kits, food and transport for away competitions.
The club was founded in 2015 by former athletes Stephen Phiri, Maliakini Makunganya, Kudakwashe Gwatirisa and Miriam Magwizi has 30 athletes as young as nine years old.
The club’s Coach Maliakini Makunganya said they formed the club after realising that the talent in Zvishavane was going unrecognized. He also said that they are also fighting drug abuse among youths.
“We have realised that talent in Zvishavane is going unnoticed and we decided to tap and nurture that talent. So far we have produced athletes who have represented the country at various events.
“Henda Musinarudzi was a Gold medallist at the Paralympics in the T47 category in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Bradley Makuvire won a Scholarship after winning the 10km race and is now studying at Elpasso University in the United States of America where he is winning medals both at the college and national levels.
Raymond Nyathi and Martha Mpende from the same club won top accolades at the national level. Liner Sithole has represented the nation in Congo Brazzaville at the all Africa Games, Germany and Brazil at the Paralympic games in 2016 while Vimbai Zvinowanda has represented the nation in Tokyo Japan at the Paralympic games in 2021,” said Makunganya.
He added that while there is so much talent in Zvishavane, a lack of resources is limiting their full potential as a club.
Zvinowanda a Mkoba Teachers’ College student lamented the lack of sponsorship and support for athletics in the country.
“As you go out there to compete, first of all, you are affected psychologically if you compare yourself and other athletes. Secondly, the fitness level obviously differs because our colleagues are full-time athletes and they are on the payroll from their respective clubs. we are in the club and in the sport just because of passion, but we have something else to do in order to put food on the table,” said Vimbai.
Liner Sithole echoed the same sentiments as she appealed to the corporate world to sponsor athletics the same way they do to football.
The club coaches Maliakini Makunganya and Steven Phiri have thanked Mimosa Mining Company and FC Platinum for offering their gym to the athletes and Agric 24 who gave the athletes T-Shirts.