Darlington Gatsi, Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE Youth Council (ZYC) has commended youthful swimmer Donata Katai for her sterling performance at the ongoing Tokyo Olympic games in Japan.
Donata Katai became the first black Zimbabwean swimmer to compete at the Olympic games when she took to the pool in the women’s 100-meter backstroke on Sunday.
ZYC Director Brian Nyagwande said they are proud of her exploits but was quick to point out that financial support is needed for her future assignments.
“We are very excited and proud about her showing of such grand exploits at the Olympics. As ZYC we strive to ensure young participation in all forms of life and all forms of sport particularly those who have been marginalised.
“Her sterling performance need to be further guarded with the necessary financial support and prepare her for future competitions,” said Nyagwande.
Meanwhile, Sports and Recreation Commission has urged young athletes who might be in need of assistance to approach the commission.
SRC has been accused of neglecting young athletes with some depending on their families for financial support.
Last year the Ministry of Youth, Sports Arts and Recreation launched the athletes’ relief fund to cushion athletes from the shocks of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Deputy Director for Sports and Recreation in the ministry, Ignatius Vambe, said a number of athletes have received assistance through the fund without disclosing the number of beneficiaries.
“Those young people in need of assistance can approach the Sports Commission and the Sports Commission can assist them through their relevant associations
“In terms of those that have been assisted, quiet a number has been assisted. Government set up an athlete relief fund so there a number of athletes who applied and they received funding as a relief from Covid-19,” Vambe said.
He added: “We have got athletes who qualified to go for the Olympics, we have athletes who qualified to go for the Paralympics. These athletes are being wholly sponsored by the government.
“All those young people who have qualified for national duty, all their air fares, their upkeep and everything is paid for them by the government through various government agencies which deal with sport.”