President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Thursday said his Government will, in the succeeding years, increase the funding of the National Youth and Paralympics games in the pursuit of ensuring that athletes who take part in the annual sporting extravaganza are well catered for, reports MATTHEW DLIWAYO from Mkoba Stadium in GWERU.
The 76-year-old Zimbabwe strongman, who graced the official opening of the games which are underway in the Midlands capital, also said the sporting event was a positive contributor to the success of sport in the country and lauded the recent inclusion of the physically-challenged to the national sporting event.
“Going forward, my Government under the second Republic will increase the funding of these games. This will ensure that the participants are well catered for in terms of accommodation, food and suitable transport among other requirements”, President Mnangagwa said.
He also said the games provided equal opportunities for the physically challenged, saying it equips them with the physical and psychological support that they need. The septuagenarian also pointed out that the sporting event also enhances the esteem and sense of self-worth for people who are physically challenged.
Mnangagwa further urged the participants to have the spirit of oneness and sportsmanship, saying the athletes must view one another as competitors, and not rivals. He also implored on the athletes to whistle-blow and report officials who engage in cheating, amongst other ills.
“These games nurture a stronger sense of self-esteem and personal sense of worth; thereby helping those living with disabilities to lead more fulfilling lives. I urge you all to exhibit high levels of discipline, honesty and fair play. You must reject and expose vices such as cheating, doping, match fixing and bribery”, the president said.
“Remember that you are competitors for the sake of these games and not rivals, therefore, build lasting friendships among yourselves”.
The curtain to the 2019 edition of the National Youth and Paralympics games will come down on the 10th of August 2019.