About 650 athletes from the teaching fraternity are gathered at the United College of Education (UCE) in Bulawayo for a two day annual Zimbabwe Teachers Association (ZIMTA) inter-provincial games that kicked off today.

All the ten provinces that fall under the association are tussling it off in nine sports codes namely: football, netball, basketball, volleyball, athletics, darts, tennis, table tennis and chess.

While confirming that the games were being used as a dress rehearsal for the hosting of the Southern African Teachers’ Organisation (SATO) games at the same venue between the 19th and 22nd of this month, ZIMTA Public Relations Officer, Daisy Zambuko described the games as crucial in the overall development of teachers.

“We use this to promote our trade union activities and we also use the same platform to get teachers to socialise and practice sports as you know sport is now in our new curriculum and we need all teachers to perfect their skills so that when they go out there and when they go back to their schools to teach, they can also teach from a practical experience,” she said.

The final team to represent the country at the SATO games is set to be selected from these games.

The ZIMTA games will also showcase a cultural exchange competition where all provinces will partake in song and dance.

The SATO games are part of the trade union’s solidarity and cultural exchange platform for teachers in the region who also take advantage of them to share experiences in their profession.

Countries to take part include Zambia, Botswana, Malawi, Lesotho, Tanzania, South Africa, Swaziland and Namibia.