ZIFA has pledged its full support to newly appointed Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Minister, Kirsty Coventry, saying her international connections in the sporting world point to a positive growth projection for sport in the country.
Coventry, a multiple Olympic swimming gold medallist and current member of the International Olympic Committee executive board, was sworn into the new Cabinet together with other ministers by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Monday at State House.
In a statement, Zifa president Phillip Chiyangwa said he believes Coventry has the capacity to transform sport in Zimbabwe.
“We are overwhelmed with joy and excitement at this great achievement for our Golden Girl, now the Golden Lady of our sports industry. We will give her all the necessary support as she settles into her new role and we believe she has the capacity to deliver without any doubt,” Chiyangwa said.
“That she is a celebrated member of the Athletics Commission of the IOC speaks volumes of her pedigree as an athlete, leader and an inspiration to many women and all athletes in Zimbabwe and beyond. Her international connections with the sporting world mean a positive growth projection for sport as a whole in the country.
“As Zifa, we pray for her almighty success and development of women’s football across the 10 provinces of the country. Our girls have been Cosafa champions and have taken part in the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations and Olympic Games; what more can they achieve with a mother and inspiring figure like her?” he said.
Coventry boasts of sharing the record of most individual medals (seven) by a female swimmer in the Olympics with Hungarian Krisztina Egerszegi.
Coventry retired after the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games in Brazil.
Her new role comes with challenges as she has to deal with financial ruin tainting governing bodies of Zimbabwe’s two most decorated sports, soccer and cricket, after years of mismanagement and alleged corruption. – Chronicle