YOUTH, Sport, Arts and Recreation Minister, Kirsty Coventry, was yesterday inducted into the African Union Sport Council Region 5’s Sports Hall of Fame.
She was among seven personalities bestowed with the honour, by the African Union Sport Council Region 5 Council of Ministers, during their virtual extraordinary meeting yesterday.
The meeting was attended by six of the 10-member countries.
Ministers from South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique and Lesotho could not attend the meeting due to various unforeseen circumstances.
During their deliberations, the ministers committed to rebuild the sports industry, through stimulus response interventions, and calculated risk-weighted return to play strategies.
They further committed themselves to support efforts to commercialise sport and gradually move away from over-reliance on government dependency.
The ministers challenged each member country to account for their actions, in the implementation of approved regional programmes, and activities.
They made an emphatic statement on their commitment to transform sport into a viable economic industry that stimulates business investment and creates a corridor for accelerated youth empowerment and employment creation, social cohesion and social capital beneficiation.
Among the many significant decisions, made by the council during their meeting, was the ratification of the election of the new Secretariat elected during the AUSC Region 5 executive committee meeting on November 27, 2020.
The newly-elected members of the secretariat will now be led by Moreetsi Imon Bogosi of Botswana as chairperson.
He replaces Vetumbuavi Veii of Namibia.
Raphael Mulenga of Zambia assumes the position of vice-chairperson, replacing George Jana of Malawi.
Eugenia Chidhakwa of Zimbabwe was elected chairperson of the Sports Development Technical Commission, replacing Antonio Gomes of Angola.
Lawrence Buyani Mthethwa was re-elected in the position of chairperson finance and marketing commission.
All four members of the secretariat were elected unopposed.
The council also ratified members to be inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame which will be part of the Region 5 Museum being established in Zimbabwe.
These are Maria Mutola (Mozambique), Coventry (Zimbabwe), Makhenkesi Arnold Stofile (posthumously) (South Africa), Matilda Mwaba (Zambia), Robert Magagula (Eswatini), Joel Lubombo (Mozambique) and Boyce Sebetela (Botswana).
The ministers ratified the confederations assistance programme guidelines.
These guidelines provide a framework from which the region and member countries can support the functioning of Region 5 recognised regional sports confederations.
This is in line with the decision of the Council of Ministers made in November 2013 that regional sports confederations would be supported in order to function, including in the areas of provision of office space, development of strategic plans, event hosting and marketing management capacity building.
The meeting also received reports from the Deputy Principal Secretary of Lesotho, on behalf of the Minister, as well as from Msungama from Malawi, giving updates on their respective countries’ preparations for the hosting of the Lesotho 2021 and Malawi 2022 Region 5 Youth Games.
The reports were well received.
Coventry was also given an opportunity to share Zimbabwe’s Athletes Relief Fund initiative that saw athletes being cushioned from the effects of Covid-19 pandemic.
The Council of Ministers meet every two years in an ordinary meeting.
However, every Games year, the council takes advantage of the availability of members for the opening ceremony of the Games, to convene an extraordinary meeting.
The Council of Ministers ordinary meeting is scheduled for December 2, 2021 on the margins of the 9th edition of the Region 5 Youth Games, scheduled to be held from December 3 to 12, 2022. – Herald ■