Senior Sports Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Olympic Committee will keep pushing to have team sports qualify for the Olympic Games.
Only two local women’s teams have made it to the Olympic games.
Zimbabwe had the women’s hockey team at the 1980 Olympic Games in Russia and the women’s football team at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.
In an interview with Zimpapers Television Network, ZTN Prime’s Morning Rush, ZOC chief executive Marlene Gadzirayi said for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, they have provided assistance for teams to help their qualification bids.
These include rugby – the Cheetahs and Lady Cheetahs – as well as the national men and women’s hockey teams that are chasing qualification.
The Lady Cheetahs are set to travel to Tunisia for the Olympic qualifier to take place on October 14 and 15 and the hockey teams are expected to compete in their qualifier from October 29 to November 5 in Pretoria, South Africa.
The Cheetahs missed out on qualification when coming fourth at the Rugby Africa Men’s Sevens staged at Harare Sports Club about two weeks ago.
The 12-team tournament was also serving as the qualifiers for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.
“So in terms of scholarships, yes they are for individual sport, but then another example is yes we are actually supporting the hockey team, they are going for qualifiers in South Africa…So it would really just always be better for Zimbabwe to have more athletes at the Olympics.
“It’s always good when you (are) looking at the Opening ceremony to see countries that have big delegations and Zimbabwe have maybe sometimes less than 10, so having a team qualifying is beyond amazing for Zimbabwe.
“So we really need to keep pushing on that and like I have said we were supporting the sevens – the Cheetahs, the Lady Cheetahs, the hockey team as well will be going to South Africa for qualifiers.
“We are also trying our best to ensure that teams also get to qualify because it’s really better not just for the Olympic Committee but for the nation as a whole,” said Gadzirayi.