Ricky Zililo, Senior Sports Reporter
THE National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe (Naaz) has threatened to name and shame competition organisers who have failed to pay athletes after races.
Naaz president, Tendai Tagara said they are concerned about “ballooning” road races that are disguised as fun runs or wellness events.
He said athletes were being exposed to road hazards at these unsanctioned races, and encouraged sponsors of such events to engage Naaz who are custodians of athletics when planning races.
Tagara said the Athletes Commission is seized with a number of complaints from athletes who have been duped of their prize monies.
“Naaz is going to be tough on mushrooming errant race organisers in 2023. We will not tolerate event organisers who ask our athletes to part with amounts between US$10-15 as registration fees and then and at the end of the races they tell athletes that they were competing in a fun run. Some organisers parade prizes which they don’t pay to athletes.
“Our advice to athletes is that they should check with the Athletes Commission or their provincial boards whether any race is sanctioned or not. We are going to name and shame those race organisers and recommend to the Government through the Sports and Recreation Commission that they be banned,” said Tagara.
The Naaz president said they have also noted that some clubs and officials assist in organising illegal events.
“Events must appear on the national calendar and if they are not on the calendar, the sponsor must approach the host province.
The host province then writes to the Naaz secretary-general seeking clearance. The Naaz secretary-general then writes to the Government through the SRC seeking clearance. It is only after the event is cleared by the Government through SRC that an event can be advertised,” Tagara said.
Any running activity outside someone’s premises of mass participation, including fun runs must be sanctioned by Naaz.
Tagara encouraged potential sponsors of events to engage Naaz who are willing to provide technical expertise.
Procedure for having events sanctioned can be obtained from Naaz’s provincial boards, the Athletes Commission and even Naaz national offices in Harare at the National Sports Stadium, White City Stadium in Bulawayo and in Gweru. – @ZililoR
Article Source: The Chronicle