SIX Bulawayo-based House Of Champs (HOC) athletics club athletes who are part of the national team that is going to take part in the Southern African Christian School’s Sports Association (Sacssa) meet in Sasolburg,South Africa have intensified their preparations for the event amid revelations they will leave the country with the rest of the team on Wednesday.
The event will run from 30 September to 1 October and Zimbabwe will be represented by 26 athletes at the track and field championships.
In the national team, HOC will have national Under-16 champion in 100m and 200m, Amanda Msongelwa (15), reigning Under 20 long and triple jump national champion Ryan Dube (17) and Zinzile Gumpo (18) a national record holder in hurdles.
Also making the trip to South Africa, from the HOC’s stable, will be Mthabisi Msongelwa (8) a 60m and 80m sprinter, Lulama Ndlovu (13) who will compete in the high jump and long jump contests and Titus Chikonye Jnr (14) a 100m and 200m sprinter.
With their preparations being sponsored by Consha Enterprises and Townshend and Butcher, they have been training under the watchful eye of Bulawayo’s renowned fitness coach Presley Mabhena who reckoned: “Our preparations for the (Sacssa) event are coming up well. We have intensified everything and it is good to note that the young girls and boys are pushing extra hard day in day out. The athletes have worked very diligently all year, we are indeed looking forward to improved times and distances.”
Meanwhile, National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe (NAAZ) and Bulawayo Athletics Board (Bab) team selectors will on Saturday be afforded a rare opportunity to identify talent and advise ahead of the AUSC Region 5 Games in Malawi in December.
This rare golden chance that also affords a great opportunity for athletes to seal selection for AUSC Region 5 Games comes courtesy of Bulawayo-based House Of Champs (HOC) athletics club that is set to play host to track and field champions at White City Stadium.
A total of 150 participants are expected to compete.
“It’s an event that is open to everyone, that is, cadets (Under 14s), youths (Under 18), juniors (Under 20) and seniors (above 20). This is an off-season meet that is set to feature individuals, clubs, schools, colleges and universities as they prepare for the peak period of athletics season which starts in January.
“NAAZ, Bab selectors and other coaches from all over the country will be expected to grace the meet to identify talent and also advise ahead of the Region 5 Games which will be held in Malawi at the end of the year. Remember the peak of an athletics season is between January and July so we want to thank the HOC club for coming up with such a prudent idea, a competition which we have never had during the off-season period,” said seasoned athletics administrator Emmanuel Mpofu who is one of the event’s organisers.
Some of the games to be played during the Region 5 games are judo, volleyball, boxing, netball, swimming, tennis and football. The competition usually has more than 3 500 athletes and officials. The games will be played from 2 – 11 December.