The Sunday Mail
IN a rare and yet massive boost for athlete development, Government, Finland and the Sport Leaders Institute of Zimbabwe (SLIZ) — a local sports entity — have lined up a 400 000-euro (about US$435 000) package for physical education (PE) in tertiary institutions.
The programme, which will run from this year until 2026, is an initiative by SLIZ, in conjunction with Finnish non-governmental sports development agency Liike.
Finland will channel the funds through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
The programme, under which 100 000 euro will be released annually, is expected to be officially launched in Harare on Tuesday.
SLIZ and Liike have been in partnership since 2018.
In May 2018, a high-powered Finnish delegation led by renowned sports administration instructor and the institution’s executive director, Ari Johannes Koivu, visited Zimbabwe and held high-level administration courses. As the relationship between SLIZ and Liike grew, the Finnish took their support a notch higher, providing both funding and material aid.
The latest development comes as Government recently gave the greenlight for the resumption of schools sport following a three-year Covid-19-induced hiatus.
According to SLIZ president Russell Mhiribidi, the programme, which is considered a game changer in local athlete development, will usher in new training methods for PE teachers, as well as provide training equipment.
“This is indeed a potential game changer in the history of sport in Zimbabwe.
“So, on Tuesday, the executive and financial directors of Liike Sport in Finland will be in Harare for the launch of the programme,” he said.
“The programme is run by SLIZ and Liike, in partnership with the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, for continuous education of PE lecturers for 2023 to 2026.
“For the next four years, the Finnish government will also provide training equipment, and three top professors from Jyvaskyla University in Finland are coming to oversee the programme.”
Tuesday’s launch will mark a busy year for SLIZ.
“In the first week of February, we will be having a sports directors’ course . . .
“There is need to recalibrate our sports directors and bring them up to speed with the latest global trends,” added Mhiribidi.
Various other activities are lined up throughout the year.