Naaz rolls out 2016 plans
THE National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe (Naaz) has rolled out its athletics developmental plans for 2016. The long term initiatives, which will be spearheaded by the association’s coaching, talent identification and development section, seeks an improvement from the past season with emphasis on performance and results. This year the Naaz programme for 2016 is packed with key and important events in both the IAAF and Naaz calendars.
These include: the African Senior Track and Field Championships, World Indoor Track and Field Championships in the United States, the World Half Marathon (London), the World Junior Championship (Poland), Regional Cross Country Champs, the Southern Africa Half Marathon (Madagascar), the Southern Africa Youth Championships (Lesotho), the Southern Africa Junior Championship (Zambia), AUSC Games (Angola), and the National Naaz track and field championships.
“We seek to continue with the consolidation of talent identification, classification of this talent into groups in order of qualification, performance and age. A number of national events that are already being organised will be the major platform for our identification and selection as we hope the calendar will provide every opportunity to both new and existing talent to further develop and compete,’’ said Phakamile Lisimati, the Naaz director of coaching, talent identification and development.
Lisimati said the association would also expedite the development of coaches, while also establishing training camps for athletes.
“We will also work on improving the human resources department by developing a coaches’ network to try and assist, identify new emerging talent and ensure that such is given the required guidance, training and motivation. Coaches will meet regularly at major events to share experiences and tips on how best we can improve performances. We seek to establish regular camps at national and provincial levels in order to provide intensive coaching of these cadets, youths, juniors and senior level athletes. We have lined up a number of camps to prepare our teams for all major events starting with two camps for Harare and Bulawayo,’’ said Lisimati.
According to Lisimati the athletes will camp in Harare from 29 March to 2 April, while the Bulawayo gathering will run from 12 April to 16 April.
“These camps will be open to all age groups and events as national age group coaches, specialist coaches and local club coaches will be invited to conduct these sessions. More camps will be organised by the department as we approach major events so as to prepare and orient the travelling teams,’’ he said.
Lisimati said the National Association of Secondary School Heads (Nash) and the National Primary School Heads (Naph) events will be one of the association’s main selection platforms as they will bring together all cadets, youth and juniors in the country.
Naaz seeks to send a big contingent to the African Senior Championships in Durban, South Africa in July.
“For the African Senior Championships we seek to send a big team to Durban, South Africa for this major event. Athletes from different clubs will have to work hard to get a qualifying performance and a seat on the bus. This event is open for all age groups seniors, juniors and youth hence becoming more challenging,’’ said Lisimati.
“Locally we are hoping the likes of Olivia Chitate, Conias Mudzingwa, Roy Zakaria, Elijah Mabhunu, Wellington Varevi, Brain Mada, Itai Vambe, Sukoluhle Mlalazi, Nigel Tom, and many other junior and seniors training with various clubs. Juniors like Matiyenga Tinotenda, Yvonne Vanhuvaone, Patience Ngwenya, Maryjoy Mudyiravanji, and Nyasha Mutsetse will also seek to challenge for slots at the event.
“The youths will also seek to qualify for the Youth Championships in Lesotho in May and the above camps will help them improve a lot, athletes like Qhubekani Dube, Vanessa Matimbe, Alfred Chawonza and Tinashe Mapaye will lead the team in the hunt for medals,’’ said Lisimati.
Naaz also envisages sending a big team of juniors to the Junior Championships in Lusaka, Zambia, while hoping that many of them make the grade for the World Junior champs in Poland. On Zimbabwe’s participation at this year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Lisimati said his department will push more athletes to qualify.
“As the Association’s coaching department we want to first of all congratulate the senior athletes that have already made the grade for this prestigious event set for August 2016 a full team of three Marathon runners has already qualified for Rio.
“We are still working on pushing more athletes to qualify hence an early start to our competitions, support to potential athletes availing all opportunities to them. We are hopefull that overseas and local athletes will make the grade this time, we want to wish them all the best, an injury free campaign and a clean bill of good times and distances as they seek to represent Zimbabwe,’’ said Lisimati.
Some of the athletes Naaz was looking to make the grade include United States-based Ngoni Makusha, Gabriel Mvumvure, Tinashe Mutanga, Rodwell Ndlovu, among others at various bases abroad. Locally Naaz pins its hopes on the likes of Mada, Chitate, Zakaria, Mudzingwa, and Vambe to also challenge for qualification.
National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe