SPORTS minister Kirsty Coventry has been impressed with the capabilities the country has shown as it prepares to host two regional competitions in a short space of time.
This weekend, Triathlon Zimbabwe will stage the 2020 Bonaqua Troutbeck ATU Triathlon Africa Cup in Nyanga.
On the other hand, the African Sporting Shooting Championships and the African Championship of Compak Sporting are scheduled for Elephant Hills in Victoria Falls from February 24 to 29.
“The ministry is indeed delighted to be hosting these two events particularly noting the composition and spatial distribution of member countries participating in these two events,” Coventry said during a media briefing at her offices in Harare yesterday.
“It is our considered view that the hosting of these events on Zimbabwean soil underlines the strides being taken by the country in sport development through hosting of major events.”
Coventry said the two events will contribute by and large in the GDP of the country as participants from other countries will bring in the much-needed foreign currency.
Racers from nine other countries are expected in Troutbeck this weekend among them Russia, Switzerland, Syria, South Africa, Mauritius, Brazil and Tunisia.
At the shooting championships in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe will join at least 16 other countries at the event. Participants are coming from Britain, United States, France, Canada, Greece, Russia, German, Czech Republic, Hungary, Belgium, Netherlands, Namibia, South Africa, Poland, Republic of Ireland and Australia.
“It is our view as ministry that the triathlon and shooting events will play a pivotal role as softening agents in International Diplomacy by embracing athletes from the combined more than 20 countries visiting the country,” Coventry said.
“The events are indeed an answer to the progressive will of Zimbabwe to the rest of the world through all elements of influence.
“Zimbabwe is expecting to receive more than a hundred direct participants for shooting and 40 for triathlon who will be accompanied by family and friends.
“Once again, this pouring visit for sport by athletes and enthusiast spells how sport has become a lucrative and continually growing marketplace worthy of immense investments for tourism.”