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Sporting Infrastructure down
Chronicle Online - Sharon Chiware

Gweru sporting infrastructure run down
SPORT and Recreation Minister Makhosini Hlongwane has bemoaned the dilapidated state of sporting infrastructure owned by the Gweru City Council.

Hlongwane described as “tragic” the rundown council sporting facilities in the Midlands capital after a tour yesterday.

Among the facilities Hlongwane toured are the Gweru Sports Club, Gweru main swimming pool, Mambo swimming pool and Ascot Stadium.

“We are moving across the country looking at the infrastructure and here in Gweru this is a tragic situation we are witnessing. Over the years, sporting and recreational structures in cities have been left to go to waste and for that matter we will not even talk of rural facilities,” said Hlongwane.

“We have engaged the local authority and I am happy that they have committed to addressing these issues as a matter of urgency.”

At Gweru Sports Club, the squash court has been turned into a house, the aerobics room needs a facelift, while the tennis courts are in dire need of refurbishment.

The rugby and cricket pitches are an eyesore and Hlongwane ordered the reconstitution of the board running the sports club.

He said the new board should be made up of people that are passionate about “developing sport”.

Acting Midlands Netball Association chairperson Mirirai Madhaka said they are forced to negotiate for use of schools’ netball courts for their league games because there are no public courts.

She said existing courts had been destroyed and in some cases the land had been turned into housing development.

Zifa Midlands chairman Brian Chishanga echoed the same sentiments, saying Ascot Stadium no longer meets requirements to host Caf games as houses have been built on the land where the B arena was supposed to be and the car park has also been turned into housing stands.

He said the Gafa grounds where Maxwell Dube and others honed their skills had a borehole at the centre of the pitch.

John Makuwalo, Gweru Cricket Club chairman, said they failed to host the Under-19 championships as the sports club pitch is unsuitable since council stopped supplying raw water for watering the grounds.

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