Home » Sports » Support Programmes for Disabled Athletes, Business Community Urged

BUSINESS organisations in Zimbabwe were yesterday urged to continue working with the government in supporting programmes for disabled athletes, in line with the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation.

Minister of State for Harare Metropolitan Miriam Chikukwa urged society, in particular the business sector to integrate disabled people in a speech read on her behalf at the 2014 annual National Paralympics Day commemorations in Chitungwiza.

The commemorations, organised by the Zimbabwe National Paralympic Committee, were held under the theme: “Changing lives through participation in Paralympic sport.”

A crowd of close to 300 participants (disabled and able bodied) attended and battled it out in various disciples including wheelchair marathon and basketball, volleyball, netball for the deaf and mute, soccer and weight lifting all done to showcase abilities within the disabled.

“Sports continue to be an important unifying force as it transcends religious, cultural, racial barriers and physical barriers since time immemorial.

“I therefore call upon all able-bodied Zimbabweans to integrate people living with disabilities in all aspects of life including sport as disability does not mean inability.

“I also urge business organisations in Harare metropolitan province and all other provinces to continue working with the government in supporting programs for disabled athletes, in line with the (ZIM ASSET) under the public private partnership as indeed such events create a platform to showcase the talent that lies among people with disabilities,” said Chikukwa.

Several participants commended ZNPC for organising the event that gave disabled and able bodied sports persons a platform to compete at par.

Job Kumunda who was taking part in wheelchair basketball was excited by the event.

“We are very grateful for this initiative and the opportunity for us not only to showcase our skill and prove that being disabled does not mean being unable . . . but we also got to play on equal terms with our counterparts who are not disabled, it was an important day for us,” said Kumunda. Yesterday’s celebrations were also a run-up to preparations for next year’s 8th edition of the Zimbabwe national paralympic games that have been pencilled in for April next year.

A budget proposal of US$300 000 has already been submitted as the local organising committee, and they have already stepped up preparations for the high profile event that will be held in Harare.

Source : The Herald