Mashonaland West province besides it being a sleeping beaty which prides itself with many tourism resorts such as the legendary sleeping pool ( chirorodziva), kariba dam, seven Heroes shrine where the first battle of Chimurenga was fought and also dubbed as the bread-basket of Zimbabwe, has proved also to be a hospitable home of sport as it got the privilege to host the 14th edition of the Zimbabwe National Youth Games ( ZNYG) which began on the 12th and ended on the 20th of August this year.
The National Youth Games which were held this year under the theme ” sport for a healthy and productive future ” ,has a mandate of uniting the youths and creating sustainability in sport .
The one week event which saw competitors from all the ten provinces of the country competing in the following disciplines : football, volleyball, basketball, netball, athletics, handball, boxing and tennis were an indication that Zimbabwe really has talent which needs proper grooming .
Minister of state for Provincial Affairs in Mashonaland West cde Faber Chidarikire in his opening remarks said the National Youth Games are a strategy to stimulate mass participation in sport for talent identification as they showcase the best local talents in Zimbabwe and also attract Regional and Global Exposure.
“National youths games are a national strategy to stimulate mass participation in sport for talent identification as they showcase the best local talents in Zimbabwe and also attract Regional and Global Exposure”he said.
He also further emphasized on the notion that the future of national teams rest on these games, hence the theme is sport for a healthy and productive future .
The city of chinhoyi became a hive of activities as the sleeping giant witnessed a week of activities with the various disciplines of the youth games being held in different places . Basketball was held at Lomagundi college, Athletics at Alaska stadium, football at Sinoia primary school/Nemakonde /and chinhoyi stadium, Handball at Nemakonde high, volleyball at chinhoyi University, Tennis at chinhoyi high school, Netball at Manyame primary school and Boxing at chinhoyi university.
One would be surprised with the huge turn out of boxing participants from all the ten provinces of Zimbabwe ,the discipline which thrilled fans and left them yelling for more, saw Bulawayo competing with Matebeland North, Matebeland South and Masvingo respectively in scooping gold medals in both the girls and boys categories .Mashonaland west had the largest number of participants in the boxing discipline, but the majority went away with bronze medals .
In the under 20 Netball category, Bulawayo scooped the first price after defeating Masvingo province in a tightly contested tournament.
Zimbabwe’s ‘finest’ the Harare province boys volleyball team were the champions after knocking out Mashonaland west province . Harare province proved to be unbeatable when it comes to volleyball as the girls volleyball team also went away with Gold medals after outshining their rivals Mashonaland West province who went away with silver medals both in the boys and girls volleyball categories respectively after putting up a spirited fight in both the boys and girls team.
The hosting province, Mashonaland West was able to put a smile on her face after facing so many disappointments in various sporting disciplines which they were either coming second or left competing for a third and fourth place. They won the boys soccer championship after knocking out their bitter rivals Masvingo province .
A take home message for all the teams that did not do well, was that practice and grooming talent is key in ensuring a healthy and effective future of sport. Hence the emphasis on making sure investments are done for the enablement of a healthy and productive future of sport.