Ellina Mhlanga 

Senior Sports Reporter 

THE National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe are this week scheduled to honour outstanding athletes for the 2023 season in Harare on Friday

NAAZ president, Tendayi Tagara, said they were bringing back the National Athletes of the Year Awards, which were shelved for more than 20 years, as part of efforts to motivate their athletes. 

They have partnered with Baldmin Holdings to host the event.

“The National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe will be hosting their National Athletes of the Year Awards for the first time in more than 20 years. 

“The event will take place at Holiday Inn, in Harare on the 26th of January 2024.

“As an organisation we felt the obligation to honour our athletes who are based in Zimbabwe and abroad. 

“We are incentivising our athletes to perform very high because they will know at the end of the season they will be recognised. 

“What we want is to make sure the event grows. It must grow in terms of everything including the incentive we want to give to the athletes. But we must start from somewhere, that is our aim. 

“Again, for those juniors who win prizes, if they are recognised by sponsors, then they will also get attention from universities and so forth,” said Tagara. 

NAAZ will also honour coaches and technical officials who have contributed to the development and growth of the sport. 

Some of the short-listed athletes include marathon runner Isaac Mpofu, United States-based sprinter Tapiwa Makarawu and Vimbai Maisvorewa in the senior men and women categories. 

“The performance of our athletes based outside Zimbabwe in 2023 was outstanding as reflected by the number of those nominated.

“The nominees’ performance was for 2023 season. As an association we are thriving for excellence. In 2024 we will also honour excellence at the end of the year.”

List of finalists;

Junior women: Nontokozo Ncube, Kimberly Kachambwa, Samkeliso Ndebele.

Junior Men: Shawn Katsidzira, Takunda Mhete, Samuel Dauti.

Senior Women: Faith Nyathi, Ashley Miller, Vimbai Maisvorewa.

Senior Men: Isaac Mpofu, Bradley Makuwire, Tapiwa Makarawu

Coaches: Cuthbert Nyasango, Brenda Lieppe, Silas Muringani.

Technical Officials: Ottilia Kurebwaseka, Claris Gwata, Apinos Chiwara.

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