Sport Leaders Winter Camp a resounding success

A Sport Leaders Institute of Zimbabwe (SLIZ) organised event dubbed Sport Leaders Winter Camp 2018, held at the Victoria Falls De Luxe Suites in the resort town of Victoria Falls was a resounding success after attracting several delegates.

By Tongai Mwenje

Sports administrators, coaches, head of schools, school development committee members from across the country descended on the tourist destination to take part in workshops and activities on what it means to be a leader in your sport, in your school, and in life.

In total, over 200 participants took part in the workshop, and are now taking what they’ve learned back to their schools, clubs and communities.

Dr. Gonzalo Bravo, who is an associate professor at West Virginia University’s College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences was the key speaker during the two day event which ran from the 6th-7th of July 2018.

Gonzalo said the number of participants he witnessed during his first sport presentation in Africa is a testimony that teachers are concerned about young and upcoming talents. He said the great deal of sport activities reside in the schools;

” What i have seen in the past two days is that great deal of sport activities resides in the schools. So you can conclude that teachers are instrumental not only in  how kids play sport but what sport means for the young talents and the communities around,” Bravo told SportBrief.

Speaking to SportBrief, an excited SLIZ president Russell Mhiribidi who was part of the workshop facilitators said since the inception of the winter camp initiative they have witnessed a positive growth in number of attendances.

“Since the inception of this programme we have seen numbers grow and we have seen the general improvement in terms of sport delivery in our institutions. And right nowpeople are now able to articulate their plans. You know the real process is not gonna be an event but a process,” he said.

Apparently their inaugural event which had an ambitious target of more than 60 delegates ended up attracting only five but they did not tire until today.

Mbiribidi added that the programme has positively impacted the young and upcoming athletes in various schools.

” The programme has changed the lives of  young and upcoming athletes because now they are getting the right instructions during their formative stages and this is very important because its difficult to teach them when they are 15 or 17 years of age, so we are catching them young,” Mhiribidi added.

Mrs Mulla Simbaneuta headmistress of Chipembere government primary school situated in Highfield, Harare, was also part of the more than 200 delegates who attended the two day event.

She was very happy to have attended the fifth edition of the Sport Leaders Winter Camp.

” I have attended many courses under SLIZ but this time i liked much on the topic which have been dealt with on facilities management whereby we have to have a user friendly sport fields at our schools,” she told this publication.

Simbaneuta said this year’s event was an upgrade of the previous version as she learnt new sport activities she apparently was not aware of.

” We had an opportunity to share with our next door neighbor schools some of the newly sprouting sport activities which are not common in our traditional schools like softball and woodball. Some of the old schools do not have those facilities, they only have our common soccer, netball, volleyball, basketball and yet now we have got a broad spectrum of new sporting activities,” said Simbaneuta.

Woodball is a sport where a mallet is used to pass a ball through gates. This game can be played in grass, sand or indoor. The sport is mainly dominant in Asian Beach areas.

Softball is a variant of baseball played with a larger ball on a smaller field. It was invented in 1887 in Chicago, Illinois, United States as an indoor game. The game moves at a faster pace than traditional baseball.

In his partying shots SLIZ president gave insightful eight sport event management tips as takeaways for the delegates.

Mhiribidi said when organizing sport event certain key points have to be taken  into consideration to make the event memorable.

” Have a clearly defined plan, define key areas, assign key competent people, draw up a checklist, put up event meetings or calendar, draw up unified competition technical rules, do not change rules for whatever reasons during a competition and agree on the points award system during planning meetings,” Mhiribidi told the delegates.

The attendants were treated to waterfalls where many confessed that it was their first encounter with the beautiful tourist attraction. It was a memorable event, a double benefit- mental relaxation and mental gymnastic.

Part of the delegates at the Waterfalls in Victoria Falls

Participant certification concluded the well organised function.

Participant posing for a photo after receiving a certificate of attendance

Tongai Mwenje

Tongai Mwenje is a Senior Editor with Zimbabwe's largest online sports magazine Sportbrief He has been writing professionally since 2012 and currently writes for technology and sport blogs. He has vast experience in digital marketing, sports reporting and analysis. He is also a Sports and Technology columnist with Financial Gazette Online Sports Column and Technology Magazine respectively.

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