FORMER Zimbabwe women’s cricket team captain, Chipo Mugeri- Tiripano, reportedly took her three-month-old baby and childminder into camp ahead of the team’s International Cricket Council T20 World Cup Africa qualifiers that roared into life in Botswana on Thursday.
Mugeri-Tiripano bounced back to do duty for the country last month, producing a five-star performance that saw her hit back-to-back half centuries in her first two matches against Thailand.
She is reportedly married to Chevrons’ right-arm fast bowler and tail-end batsman Donald Tiripano.
In Botswana, the Lady Chevrons, who left the country for the contest on Tuesday, were drawn to play against hosts Rwanda, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Tanzania in their group.
In recent years great strides have been made on the sporting front to accommodate pregnant sportspersons and breastfeeding mothers so that they are not forced out of their chosen careers due to the need to give birth or start families.
At the recent Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan athletes expressed worry over rules that said that they could not bring their babies to the Games.
After lobbying, much of it online by concerned athletes, the International Olympic Committee had a change of heart and allowed breastfeeding parents to bring their babies.
“After careful consideration of the unique situation facing athletes with infants, we are pleased to confirm that, when necessary, young children will be able to accompany athletes to Japan,” the committee said in a statement.
American long distance runner Aliphine Tuliamuk, told the The Washington Post: “If I’m going to perform my best, she’s going to have to be there with me—and I hope she will be.”
Canadian basketball player Kim Gaucher, who was also breastfeeding her daughter, had also posted a video on instagram saying she was being forced to “decide between being a breastfeeding mum or an Olympian athlete”.
While Mugeri-Tiripano could not be reached on her decision to take her baby with her and the facilities available to her, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Sport Kirsty Coventry, herself a former sportsperson, has led from the front in terms of being on duty with her baby, a development that shows other women that they can be both mothers and successful career women.