It’s time for youths to realise their sport talents: Mabika

Belinda T Mucheuki

Multi-award winning athlete, Royal Mabika embarked in sports career building camps in Zimbabwe’s rural schools.

The camps were sponsored by Mr Michael Monson who also attended the Mhondoro Sports Career Camp.

“Royal Mabika came to me about a year or so ago and said I am a runner and I want to go out to a sports camp so he is the brain child of these camps and if you need a model you should look up to him because he is genuine and is someone who wants to give back to the society,” said Mr Monson.

Mabika said the move was influenced by the realisation that most talents die in rural area due to lack of nurturing and support since there are a lot of issues which demotivate rural youths in developing their sports careers.

“My own father was an athlete back home in Zaka Jerera, he qualified for a provincial competition and slept at a certain school waiting for a bus that was going to take him to where the competition was going to take place. Unfortunately for him it rained on the day and the bus failed to fetch him so he was heartbroken and never participated in any sports related activity since then,” said Mabika.

“I know there are a lot of challenges that hinder you from valuing sports some of which include lack of support from the parents and not having anyone who prospered through sport in your villages that is why I have come to you to show you that it is possible for one to travel the world and make money through sports, I personally have made it through running despite having discouraged by a lot of people growing up,” added Mabika.

In Murombedzi, Mabika told Review and Mail that he knows that there is also a need to reach out to parents and he is planning on doing so.

“Parents think children can only make it in life through academics thus do not value sports talent as such there is need to reach out and talk to them into supporting their children as far as sports are concerned because for a child to make it, his or her parents need to be supportive,” said Mabika.

In an effort to show to the youths in rural areas that it is possible to be successful in sports, Mabika invited Bertha Chikanga who is a female award-winning athlete to speak with them.

Miss Chikanga narrated her life to the Murombedzi youths telling them the achievements she made through sporting.

“I grew up in the rural areas just like you and I used to participate in a lot of sport activities at my school. I reached the national level with running up until I left high school.

“Unfortunately, school sports coaches will not be concerned with your sport life once you leave their school. That was my situation so I went to work in South Africa up until a friend of mine showed me the news about my former colleagues who were making it through sports and that is when I decided to return to Zimbabwe to nurture my career.

“I participated in some marathons both in Harare and South Africa and bought a stand and some cattle with the money I won. Currently I am building a sports training centre for youths,” said Miss Chikanga speaking to the youths camping at Mabvure Primary School in Murombedzi.

Royal Mabika also noted that some talents are affected by substance abuse hence also invited a founder of the Young People Mental Health Trust, Tawanda Murepa to speak on the issue.

Among the issues he highlighted, Tawanda told the youths that it is better to talk to someone when you are facing challenges rather than taking drugs because they have long term effects and they are scientifically more dangerous to the young people. He also gave examples of people who were disqualified during sports competitions due to the presence of drugs in their system thus discouraging them from taking drugs.

During the Murombedzi camp some talents were identified and taken for further training in preparation to the upcoming national sports competitions.

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