ZIMBABWE wheelchair racer Stellah Jongwe faces a huge obstacle that could hinder her journey to the prestigious Oita International Wheelchair Marathon in Japan on November 19, 2023.
With her visa secured and wheels ready, the lack of travel sponsorship for her team casts a shadow over her November 19 race participation.
Jongwe finds her path to a potentially life-altering opportunity obstructed by a stark funding gap. The race, a global platform for athletes with disabilities, promises to unlock doors to broader recognition and further career opportunities.
Humphrey Vambe, Jongwe’s manager, said:
“We stand at a crossroads where the dream of an exceptional talent like Stellah, who has soared beyond her circumstances, may be grounded due to lack of funds,” Vambe said.
“We call upon the corporate world, generous individuals, and all who believe in the triumph of the human spirit to help us bridge this gap.”
The urgency of Vambe’s plea underscores the critical nature of Jongwe’s predicament.
“This race is a canvas for Stellah to paint her future, to rise above the constraints of poverty and to inspire countless others,” he adds.
Adding to the narrative, Zimbabwe’s veteran wheelchair racer Elford Moyo has also been invited to the event, marking a significant moment for the nation’s representation on the international stage.
As the race day draws near, the possibility of Jongwe not being at the starting line is heart-wrenching for the sports community and all those who root for the wheelchair sensation.
It is not a matter of whether she’s ready to compete but whether someone will be generous enough to give her a chance, and Jongwe’s fate is uncertain as she waits for a benefactor to help make her dream a reality.