Innocent Kurira, Sports Reporter
LEAVING hyper energetic school children with raging hormones unoccupied is a definite recipe for disaster.
For National Association of Secondary School Heads (Nash) president Arthur Maphosa, dealing with school children in the last two years has been a nightmare.
He has had to watch pupils go rogue all because there is nothing else besides their studies to occupy them. However, at present there is no happier man in sport right now than Maphosa.
He entered the year in jubilation as schools’ sport is set for a full return this coming school term beginning on Monday. His excitement is perhaps eclipsed by Lionel Messi who won the World Cup and satisfied himself as the GOAT.
For a man whose leadership is unmatched, Maphosa, has more to share with the return of schools’ sport competitions.
His excitement is one of a young boy who long lost his toy and found it. Maphosa doesn’t hide the excitement. It has been a long time coming.
Covid-19 brought a halt to every sport activity at schools. No game was had and so much was the frustration.
For Maphosa, schools’ sport plays a pivotal role in ensuring discipline is maintained among learners.
We have seen countless dreams of athletes being crushed and swept away like they never existed. Countless budding athletes may have had promising careers snuffed out during the sporting hiatus as children lost self-control and turned to drugs or got pregnant.
Some athletes were dropped from sporting programmes because of illegal drugs, fighting, and absenteeism during competitions and training.
If you ask any successful athlete about their road to success, the first thing they’ll say is, “discipline” and how it has worked and paved the road for them to be where they are right now. Rightly so, discipline is an essential foundation for any sport.
“With these learners, sport is a very important aspect of their growth. We are talking of young people who have loads of energy which needs sport so they can channel that energy toward that.
“The moment these learners are idle, cases of indiscipline arise because they are using the energy they should be translating to sport in other things such as drug abuse and alcoholism. It is a welcome development that our children now have an activity where they can channel their energy,” said Maphosa.
Sport associations have also expressed delight with the return of secondary school sport.
Basketball Union of Zimbabwe (Buz) president Joe Mujuru said: “This is just music to the ears. We get the talent from schools and if they are not involved in sport it then means we are not progressing at development level. Therefore, the return of schools’ sport can allow us to focus on development as we will be able to scout for talent in schools which have always been our ground for unearthing new talent.”
Bulawayo Athletics Board chairperson Watson Madenyika said they now expected new names in the athletics field.
“Athletics has always relied on athletes that we spot from the schools. In the last two years that we have not had sports, we have had a few new names rising. With this development we are certain. “We learnt about what is needed for athletes to get scholarships and we will work on helping aspiring athletes so that they realise their dreams.
“We will also be working with coaches from around the city to achieve our development goals. It doesn’t matter which club one represents, our main objective is to develop the sport in Bulawayo,” he said.
In the new curriculum, sport constitutes a bigger part of extracurricular activities that aid a learner’s aptitude.
Schools’ sport plays a huge role as a talent nurturing ground and feeder system for the country’s professional sporting disciplines.
National schools’ competitions have over the years been a good ground for talent identification and some have ended up in professional ranks locally and abroad.
However, most budding sportspersons’ dreams have been shattered by the pandemic in the past two-and-a-half years during which school sport has been frozen.
National competitions such as the Copa Coca-Cola football tournament, Nash and National Association of Primary Heads athletics competitions have been a stepping stone for a number of successful sportspersons in the country.
Missing out on such events may have frustrated some young talent to give up sport altogether. — @innocentskizoe
Article Source: The Chronicle