By Leopold Munhende
SEVEN time Olympic medallist, Kirsty Coventry’s surprise appointment as the country’s sports minister has been welcome by sports associations within the country’s sports associations.
“This is indeed a pleasant surprise but a well-deserved appointment to one of our most distinguished sportspersons, one which augurs well for the agenda of the Sports and Recreation Commission especially at this juncture,” SRC acting director Joseph Muchechetere told NewZimbabwe.com Friday.
“As the SRC, we could not have asked for more than this and we say thank you to his Excellency, Emmerson Mnangagwa.
“We pledge to cooperate and work tirelessly with the new leadership.”
Zimbabwe Olympic Committee (ZOC) secretary general Anna Mguni said Coventry’s appointment was a progressive move for sports development in Zimbabwe.
“I am at a loss for words and I think it is amazing to have a person who understands sports is so critical for sports development.
“We are really going to rally behind her all the way,” said Mguni.
Coventry needs little introduction to Zimbabwean sports as she sits on the ZOC board as its vice president.
She is regarded as Africa’s most successful Olympian with two gold medals and five other Olympic medals since her debut in Sydney.
She was born in Harare and enrolled at Dominican Convent before moving to Alabama to further her studies.
Earlier this year, the 34 year old was appointed Chairperson for the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Athletes’ Commission.
On her capabilities and shortcomings within Zimbabwe’s politics, Mnangagwa had a fair response.
“Who was ever born in the corridors of power?” he retorted after a journalist had questioned her appointment.
Coventry becomes Zimbabwe’s first female Minister of Sport since the turn of the century and will have the unenviable tasks of handling the Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) mess, Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) legitimacy and sports development as she assumes office.