Kirsty Coventry meets all national sports associations

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By Sports Reporter

Sports, Arts and Recreation Minister Kirsty Coventry is this Saturday meeting all national sporting associations to apprise them on the new policy framework as well as to dissect problems bedevilling the sporting fraternity in the country.

Coventry is expected to address the gathering which will bring together officials from her ministry, the new Sports and Recreation Commission board headed by Gerald Mlotshwa and representatives from all the country’s national sports associations.

SRC corporate communications officer Tirivashe Nheweyembwa said this is the first time that Coventry will lay out the policy direction that the sports sector will take going forward.

“The Sports and Recreation Commission will be hosting the third quarterly meeting with National Sport Associations leaders tomorrow, 21 September 2019 and this meeting will be addressed by the Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Hon Dr Kirsty Coventry and the SRC Board,” Nheweyembwa said.

“This is the first time that the minister and the board will be attending this meeting. It is expected that the minister will lay out the policy direction that the sports sector will take going forward. It will be an opportunity for the sports leaders to interact with the board so that they also understand how they want things to run within the sector.

“It is in this light that all presidents and secretary generals/general secretaries are being requested to attend this important meeting,” he said.

The third quarterly meeting comes at a time when the SRC and the Sports Ministry have been at loggerheads with national sports associations over governance and compliance issues.

Last week, SRC revealed that it is probing the operations of the Zimbabwe Netball Association (ZINA) after similar probes in the operations of Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) and the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA).

The International Cricket Council (ICC) and FIFA however rejected the SRC’s moves resulting in Zimbabwe being suspended due to alleged government interference while the world football body warned that it would be forced to take similar action if the SRC interfered in ZIFA’s affairs.

Saturday’s quarterly meeting is also expected to bring to the spotlight the financial problems that have affected most national sporting associations, resulting in some being forced to pull out of major tournaments due to lack of funding.

Due to the financial problems other associations such as ZIFA and ZINA have failed to fulfil their obligations to local athletes.

Warriors players threatened to walk away from a dismal Africa Cup of Nations campaign after a pay dispute, while their female counterparts refused to play their recent Olympic qualifier for the same reason, and having overcome major financial troubles to punch far above their weight on their World Cup debut, the nation’s netballers are still waiting on promised bonuses.