PRINCIPAL consultant at Harare-based Team Consulting, Teddy Chikondo, has underscored the need to look after young talented athletes as they are prone to falling victim to drug and substance abuse.
During his presentation on Tuesday at a three-day Chicken Inn Football Club strategic workshop that concluded on Wednesday in Bulawayo, Chikondo who was the workshop’s facilitator, said drug and substance abuse was among the chief social ills that curtail talent development at football academies, other sporting spheres and in the arts industry.
“We need to look after young talented players very well. Just like their peers in other sporting disciplines and with those who are so much into music, issues to do with drug abuse have always popped up. We are bound to lose young talented footballers in the junior ranks or at academies due to drug and substance abuse. In that regard, it has become very difficult for many football institutions to develop and nurture talent,” said Chikondo.
His sentiments come at a time when President Mnangagwa has declared war in eradicating drug and substance abuse in Zimbabwe, warning drug cartels that the net was fast closing in on them as the fight against illegal substances has been intensified.
Drug and illegal substance use has grown in Zimbabwe, with the youth mostly in poor communities, falling prey to the scourge.
Highly addictive drugs such as crystal meth and cocaine have become widely available in most high-density suburbs.
“We must celebrate our young people and care for them. The focus, this year, is the threat of drug and substance abuse among young people. I ask every young person not to turn to drugs, but instead to look to our country’s great future,” said President Mnangagwa on his official Twitter handle a day after this year’s National Youth Day celebrations held at Lupane State University campus in Matabeleland North province.
To augment these ongoing efforts, he said the review of legislation and related policy measures on drug and substance abuse was receiving urgent attention.
The theme of this year’s National Youth Day, “Drugs and Substance, a threat to Vision 2030, everyone’s responsibility,” resonates with the Inter-Ministerial taskforce on drugs and substance efforts to help survivors find their way back into society.
The President has also emphasised that the Second Republic will continue to provide opportunities for youths to realise their full potential and contribute to Vision 2030, the attainment of an upper-middle income economy status.