3rd November 2009
By Augustine Hwata
A new Sports and Recreation Commission board has been appointed to run the supreme sport regulatory body for the next three years.
Minister of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture David Coltart yesterday announced the appointment of Bulawayo lawyer Joseph James to lead the nine-member board.
James played football for Bulawayo Wanderers and Rangers in the Southern Region Division One.
Edward Silwela, an experienced athletics administrator, has been retained from the previous board whose term of office expired in September 2008.
Obed Dube, the current president of the Zimbabwe Golf Association, is the other new board member.
A mining industry executive, Dube is also a former president of Mhangura and Shabanie Mine football clubs.
He has also worked as a general manager and managing director at Mhangura and African Associated Mines.
Dave Ellman-Brown, one of the leading cricket administrators in the country, has also been included in the board.
An advocate for women in sport and physical education lecturer Eugenia Chidhakwa is also among the four women appointed to the board.
Women make up 50 percent of the appointed board members with the other three being Zimbabwe Olympic Committee executive board member Anna Mguni, judo coach Debbie Jeans and golfer Jessimine Nyakatawa.
Nguni is a former physical education teacher and television sports news presenter who has interests in rugby and basketball.
Jeans represented Zimbabwe at several international competitions, including the 5th World University Championship in Strasbourg, France, in 1985 and the All-Africa Games.
She is a renowned referee and fitness trainer.
Nyakatawa is the current president of the Zimbabwe Ladies’ Golf Union and a national team player.
She is also a golf coach and a non-executive director of SFG Insurance Company.
The Zimbabwe chef de mission to the 2008 Beijing Paralympic Games, Obadiah Moyo, makes a return to the Sports Commission’s board.
Between 1985 and 1987, Moyo sat in the old Zimbabwe Sports and Recreation Council that gave way to the Sports Commission.
Moyo has special interests in people with disabilities and holds a master’s degree in international relations.
Sports Commission director-general Charles Nhemachena is an ex-officio member of the board.
The previous board was appointed in September 2005 by Coltart’s predecessor, Aneas Chigwedere, with Gibson Mashingaidze as its chairman.
Justin Mujaji, Godfrey Majonga, Robson Mhandu, Stan Andrews, Siwela, Mark Manolios, Rebecca Benza and Tsitsi Muzuwa were members of that board.
In appointing the new board, Coltart said he had consulted widely before settling on the eight commissioners.
“I am pleased to announce my appointment of a new Sports and Recreation Commission board in terms of Section 5 of the Sports and Recreation Commission Act in consultation with the President, His Excellency R.G. Mugabe,” said Coltart.
“The board had been arrived at after widespread consultations with the other Principals to the Global Political Agreement, the Right Honourable Prime Minister Morgan R. Tsvangirai and the Honourable Deputy Prime Minister Professor Arthur G. O. Mutambara, the director-general of the Sports and Recreation Commission, sports associations and the Zimbabwe Olympic Committee.
“In formulating the composition of the board, I have ensured a reasonable gender balance, representation of the disabled, regional representation and representation of major sporting disciplines,” he said.
The minister said the board has been appointed for a three-year term with effect from November 1. Soon after announcing the new board, during a Press conference at his offices yesterday, Coltart gave the in-coming members the task of ensuring that Zimbabwe qualifies for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
“My hope is that this new board will help us to qualify for the 2014 Fifa World Cup,” he said.
Coltart also tasked James’ board to ensure that Zimbabwe regains its Test status in cricket.
“Zimbabwe has achieved great success in sport over the decades but it’s my opinion that our athletes have not performed to the heights that we should,” said Coltart.
“There is a lot of potential that has not been realised to the fullest,” he said.
Among the tasks, Coltart said the board should review the operations of sport in Zimbabwe.
“I want this board to look into maladministration in all sports and the democratisation of sports associations,” he said.
Once transparency has been introduced in the various sporting disciplines, Coltart believes that financial support will start trickling in.
He also said it was important that the corporate world moves in to support sport since such a task could not be undertaken by the Government alone.
Coltart also touched on the Cosafa Senior Challenge Tournament won by Zimbabwe on Sunday saying it was quite a remarkable achievement for the organising committee and the Warriors.
In making his first address as board chairman, James said his board will do their best to make sure that sport scales greater heights.
“It is with pride and honour that we take up the tasks. On behalf of the other board members, we feel both humbled and honoured,” said James.
“I think this board has people with experience and ability to manage sport. This will not be an easy task but one we are confident of taking.
“The first thing I learnt is that sport is team-work. Whether one plays singles tennis, it’s still a team sport because one has to work with a coach, a manager or even the opponent.
“He is not a rival but an opponent,” he said.
Senior officials in the Sports and Recreation Commission and the Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture also attended the unveiling ceremony for the new office bearers.
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