COMMENT: We need strong junior development across all sporting disciplines

12 Aug, 2022 - 00:08 0 Views
COMMENT: We need strong junior development across all sporting disciplines Zimbabwe Cricket team (Chevrons)


ZIMBABWE’S cricket team gave Zimbabweans something to smile about and be proud of in their performance against Bangladesh. Zimbabwe won the One Day International matches 2-1 after a good spell in the T20s proving that their earlier performance was no fluke.

We applaud the youthful team for bringing hope to Zimbabweans that we can still perform on the sporting field. We all are aware of the challenges that rocked the game years ago, and the impact that the developments had on the current state of affairs. We believe in sport there is a need for patience that is premised on a shared vision and clear roadmap on how to achieve the set goals.

We used to have an old guard in our cricket team and the succession may not have been smooth but what is clear is that with a clear plan of action we can still compete and be counted among the best in the world. The world is beginning to take notice that Zimbabwe must be doing something right after many years of grooming the current crop of players.

We take our hats off to Dave Houghton and his charges and wish them the best in their upcoming challenge, matches against India. During our period of cricket wilderness, we drew lessons and with the assistance of friendly nations managed to chart a new course and it is our hope that the new-found rhythm will subsist and that we will soon be viewed as a consistent performer on the international scene.

Dave Houghton

Also, the players that are playing in the national side now took years to refine their skill and they are still learning the ropes, meaning there is a need for patience as we try and infuse them with self-belief and make them an all-conquering side.

Our netball side scaled dizzy heights last year at the World Cup and the women’s soccer side once graced the Olympics but what seems to be lacking is consistency that we believe is a result of a well co-ordinated plan from the juniors graduating right into the senior teams. We need strong junior development programmes across all sporting disciplines.

We can birth new heroes at each stage without losing our steam if our transition from one age group to another is seamless. The international football wilderness that the country is under right now could actually give rise to well thought out programmes whose rewards may be felt years from now.

It all needs patience, planning and execution of long term development programmes that produces more competitive sportspersons who are exposed to playing standards around the world so that they are exposed to more competitive environments. Let us learn from the cricket side’s experience.

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