Senior Sports Reporter
HARARE Amateur Swimming Board vice-chairperson Zanele Nkomazana says their participation at the South Africa Junior Championships is a perfect platform for exposing their swimmers to a different level of competition.
The Championships in the neighbouring country were scheduled to start today.
HAS have nine swimmers captained by Wisdom Shumba and Tanatsirwa Chitsurura taking part in the competition.
“It’s true that we had disturbances during the season. Our pick of the season that’s when sport was banned in Zimbabwe because of Covid-19. But our swimmers then came back strongly and they trained.
“We gave them a gala before this one just for them to be in a competitive mood.
“So most of them really it’s an opportunity for them to go and see a facility because we don’t have facilities here. It’s an opportunity for exposure for them to go and see other competitors other than our local swimmers that they always compete with.
“Besides that, we have also high-end swimmers who are targeting to go to Junior World Champs. We have one swimmer Tanatsirwa in the Olympic qualifiers list, so we expect them because those ones have been training hard, we expect them to do well,” Nkomazana said.
The other swimmers in the team are Limbikani Kalipengule, Mkhuseli Mahobele, Jayden Malandu, S’busiso Msimanga, Matida Musere, Saira Ramajan and Anje Van As.
Nkomazana has assumed the role of team manager for this tour. Michael Ranken is the coach.
Previously, swimmers used to compete at the Championships as Team Zimbabwe but this time around, provinces were given the responsibility to send their teams.
“We were just given the tour to run it as provinces, so we are happy to expose our swimmers and it’s a tough tour really. South Africa Junior has always been a tough tour, so we are hoping as Harare we can make a name for ourselves out there.
“It’s our first tour as Harare. We used to do South Africa Junior as team Zimbabwe but this year we are doing South Africa Junior as Harare,” said Nkomazana.
It also the first tour outside the country for the swimmers since the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak last year.