A total of 29 Zimbabwe Olympic Committee (ZOC) affiliated national sports associations are expected to attend the 2010 edition of the ZOC Annual Educational Forum scheduled for Saturday 17 July 2010.
The forum will be held from 0800hrs up to 1630hrs at the ZOC Olympic Sports Centre based at Prince Edward School in Harare.
In a statement, ZOC acting Chief Executive Officer, Stanley Mutoya this yearâ€™s forum has been designed to address pertinent issues affecting sport arising from ZOCâ€™s Needs Analysis Survey carried out in 2009.
He said: â€œOut of a research carried out by ZOCâ€™s Sport Education, Leadership and Research Commission as well as through the ZOC Audit on National Sports Associations in 2009, a number of areas adversely affecting sport development in Zimbabwe were noted.Â
â€œAmong these areas were issues such as lack of athlete development plans, limited funding, poor planning and event management.Â
In an effort to build national sports associationsâ€™ capacities on the areas noted, ZOC enlisted experts in specific areas to use the Educational Forum as a platform for development.â€Â
Mutoya added that two renowned speakers were identified and invited to lead discussions on these pertinent topics at this yearâ€™s forum.
â€œFirst will be the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority Chief Operations Officer, Mr. Givemore Chidzidzi, who will make a presentation on the topic, â€œSports Tourism â€“ Lessons Learnt From 2010â€.Â
â€œThe topic was chosen in order to assist national sports associations unlock the immense value that lies in them and the potential contribution that they could make to the economy through sport tourism,â€ said Mutoya.Â
Mr. Chidzidzi is expected to walk delegates through the tenets of effective packaging of their products including but not limited to event management and links with relevant government ministries and departments.Â
An interactive engagement is expected to ensue with reference to major sporting events that Zimbabwe has either hosted or witnessed lately, benchmarking against the just ended FIFA World Cup and other international sporting events that have a direct link with tourism.
Mutoya said the main speaker for the day will be Ms. Lazilayana Ezera Tshabangu, the General Manager, High Performance Department in the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (SASCOC).Â
He said: â€œMs. Tshabangu, who is expected to jet into the country on Friday 16 July, is a highly qualified and experienced technical expert whose vast knowledge and experience in the field of athlete high performance exercise science has seen her serving as Director Sport and Recreation in the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality, Project Coordinator in the South African Sports Commission and Assistant Director National Department of Sport and Recreation.
â€œTshabangu, who is currently studying for a PhD in Exercise Science is a highly decorated academic and proud holder of a Masters in Sports Science degree and BA Honours degree in Human Movement Studies among an array of qualifications.â€
Tshabangu will lead a discussion on the topic, â€œDeveloping Athletes for High Performanceâ€, a topic which is expected to stimulate interesting debate and interaction among delegates.Â
The topic will cover aspects of formulating long term athlete development plans and programmes which obviously places emphasis on the much talked about junior development programmes.Â
This is arguably one area of sport development that Zimbabwe is lagging miles behind and would need to sprint at full throttle in order to catch up with the rest of the world that is taking sport development seriously.Â
The topic deals directly with issues that ZOC aims to achieve through its recently formulated Long Term Winning Strategy through which the Olympic Committeeâ€™s broad aim is to continuously churn out world class athletes by 2020.Â
There is clearly no shortcut to sporting success and athlete development, no wonder this topic was selected to be the main centre for discussion for the day.
Other presentations that will be made during the forum will include a presentation of the results of the audit on national sports associations that ZOC carried out in 2009 as well as the Olympic Committeeâ€™s Long Term Winning Strategy.Â
The presentations will be made by Mutoya as Acting Chief Executive Officer and the organisationâ€™s Chairperson of the Technical and Development Commissions, Ms. Anna Mguni.
Each of the 29 affiliated national sports associations is expected to be represented by their president, secretary-general and an official responsible for technical and development issues.Â
Other stakeholders and delegates that have been invited to the forum include the SRC, Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture, Sports Writers Association (SWAZ), National Association of Secondary School Heads (NASH) and National Association of Primary School Heads (NAPH).
The ZOC annual Educational Forum is a significant event on the ZOC calendar.Â
The forum, which also serves as ZOCâ€™s communication platform, precedes the ZOC General Assembly and is hosted a day before ZOCâ€™s great indaba every year.Â This yearâ€™s ZOC General Assembly is scheduled for Sunday 18 July 2010 at the Olympic Sports Centre based at Prince Edward School.