The National Athletics Association of Zimbabwe will this month hold their first international course for the year after some delays, and changes to their initial plans, due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
They are scheduled to have an International Level One course from December 14 to 23 in Harare, targeting 15 coaches.
It will be facilitated by NAAZ director for coaching, talent identification and development, Lisimati Phakamile.
NAAZ president, Tendai Tagara, confirmed the course, which covers general coaching for jumps, throws, middle and long distance, and sprint, will take place at their offices at the National Sports Stadium.
Mainly participants from Harare will take part, while a few coaches will come from Manicaland, Mashonaland West and Mashonaland Central.
“We have successfully applied for the international level one course, which will commence on the 14th of December and run up to December 23 in Harare at the National Sports Stadium, NAAZ offices.
“These courses were earmarked for May but we had to postpone them due to Covid-19 pandemic.
“We will run this 10-day course under World Athletics/IAAF standards observing Covid-19 regulations.
“We feel it’s critical that we start to equip our coaches with the right skills in preparation for the 2021 athletics course under the new normal created by Covid-19,” said Tagara.
The NAAZ president said they have had a positive response from schools, which are an integral part of their development of the sport.
“Athletics has proved to be the main sport that athletes can easily get a scholarship to the USA, hence the interest from private schools.
“Due to limited numbers we will train only 15 coaches because of Covid-19,” added Tagara. It’s going to be a busy year for athletics, they have a number of competitions lined up for 2021, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Africa Senior Championships and the World Under-20 Championships.
NAAZ were also scheduled to hold an International Level Two middle distance course last month.
But, it had to be moved to early next year due to the unavailability of the international coach, Gunter Lange, who had other commitments.
There have been some encouraging signals, from middle and long distance runners, over the years.