By Vusisizwe Mkhwananzi
Gwanda, February 18, 2016 – The 2016 edition of the Zimbabwe National Paralympics games being hosted by Matabeleland South province April this year hang in the balance after it emerged the organising committee was struggling to raise more than $300 000 needed for the event.
The general manager in charge of marketing Sithembinkosi Nyathi has since appealed to the business community in the province to make donations towards the successful hosting of the games.
Speaking at a meeting between the business community and the municipality of Gwanda, Nyathi said the organising committee was struggling to raise $328 000 needed for the games and appealed for assistance.
“Please extend your long arm and heart, all you business people and council should help. If we succeed, we would all have succeeded and if we fail we would have failed together, but l am confident we will succeed,” said Nyathi.
The games will be staged at Phelandaba stadium in Gwanda from the 5_9 April and part of the money required will go towards rehabilitating infrastructure to cater for disabled people.
Gwanda town clerk Priscilla Nkala says work on rehabilitating infrastructure will start soon as the municipality is still gathering resources.
“We are still waiting for materials from well-wishers and as soon as we gather them, we will start building ramps at the stadium so that facilities are user friendly to the physically challenged athletes,” she said.
Matabeleland South provincial administrator Midard Khumalo says the organising committee was running against time and should have begun preparations way back.
“We started late to organise for the games but we have to work hard and meet targets and hopefully there will be great change by month end,” said Khumalo.
The Zimbabwe paralympic games were introduced by the Zimbabwe Sports and Recreation Commission in 2008 as a premier sporting activity for disabled people with athletes and officials coming together for the three-day sporting extravaganza.
Besides partaking in sporting competitions, the athletes and officials are exposed to social issues affecting their daily lives such as Paralympism, HIV/AIDS, hygiene, culture and health.
The games are held on a rotational basis and athletes compete in various sports that include athletics, basketball, tennis and netball.