Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
AFTER successfully hosting the inaugural Chipayi Women’s 5km road race last year, the event returns tomorrow in Highfield with some of the leading female distance runners in the country excepted to take part.
The race is made up of six categories – Women Open, Junior Open, Under-14s, Mistress, Grand Mistress and Wheelchair. The race starts and finishes at Machipisa Shopping Centre.
Tabitha Tsatsa and Rudo Mhonderwa are some of the athletes expected to take part in the race that largely features women and girls from the Highfield community.
It is organised by Lindiwe Chipayi and supported by the Harare Athletic Board (HAB). The aim is to promote women in sport and create awareness on the importance of a leading healthy lifestyle.
Chipayi said after an overwhelming response last year from the community she decided to stage the event again this year and is likely to become an annual event.
“We realised that when we held the inaugural race there was an overwhelming response, there was so much interest even after the race. The women really appreciated the initiative and we decided to have it again this year.
“It’s likely to become an annual event and we hope as we continue to hold the race we can get some sponsors on board,” said Chipayi.
This year the race will feature juniors (Under-20) and Under-14s as well, presenting some aspiring young athletes the platform to showcase their talent.
“For this year besides the winners getting some money prizes, every woman who participate will get a token of appreciation.
“I want to promote women in sport, in athletics. We have seen the likes of Minister Kirsty Coventry, who represented the country well during her days as an athlete. So I strongly believe women if given a chance can do well.
“We want to promote a healthy lifestyle for women, just for them to know the benefit of exercising and maintaining a healthy lifestyle,” said Chipayi.
HAB secretary general Sledge Chinyoka said this is an opportunity for women from different backgrounds to network and for the community to be involved in sport.
“I think this is a splendid opportunity for women to showcase their talent. It’s an opportunity they can use to become healthy and physically fit.
“It’s also community engagement programme whereby the community is involved in certain activities and an opportunity for women to network,” said Chinyoka.