Naaz seeks lockdown exemption

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Aaron Nhawu

THE National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe (Naaz) has written to the government through the Sports and
Recreation Commission seeking exemption from the blanket ban on sport as they seek to kick-start their preparations for the Olympics.
With the nation reeling from the Covid-19 pandemic, the government earlier this month decided to cancel all sporting events in the country as a preventive measure to curb the spread of the deadly virus.

However, the decision has affected a number of sporting organisations in the country, with many of them having a tight January schedule and Naaz is among those suffering from the lockdown nightmare.

The association has applied to SRC seeking the green-light to resume training ahead of the upcoming 2021 Tokyo Olympics set for July-August this year.

Naaz is expected to build a strong team that will represent Zimbabwe at this year’s global sporting event. Naaz president Tendai Tagara said the green-light they are seeking from the SRC is for the association’s targeted athletes who are gunning for Olympic qualification.

“We applied for specific targets only, for example those targeted for Olympics participation. We have marathon runners. “We want them to train as a group because it is important in terms of motivation and other stuff, also they are supposed to race in Kenya next month,” Tagara told the Daily News yesterday.

“Also the health of our athletes is our major priority. We want safe resumption of the sport which will not put our lives in danger.” Naaz is also pinning its hopes on athletes who are based abroad to deliver the desired results in the upcoming events despite training under difficult conditions imposed by the deadly virus.

The likes of Ngoni Makusha and others are training in South Africa at the High Performance Centre. Makusha recently dominated at the inter provincial event in Bulawayo last month.

Meanwhile, marathon runner Munyaradzi Jari has been in Kenya for over two months preparing with a number of top competitors there. The Tokyo Olympics were postponed last summer due to the coronavirus and are set to be held in Tokyo, Japan, from July 23 to August 8 this year.

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