Zimbabwe: Chegutu Municipality :Advancing health through sports and arts

Date: July 31, 2018
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Chegutu Municipality had its Inaugural Sports and Arts Festival in October 2017.Chapter 2(32) of the Constitution provides that the state must take all practical measures to encourage sport and recreational activities for all people. The Urban Council’s Act Second Schedule( 3 ) Council is to provide ,operate or do all things necessary in provision or operating such recreational facilities. Besides being physically fit sporting activities mitigate the effects of non-communicable diseases such as cancer, hypertension and diabetes. In the youths it helps keep them busy and away from delinquent activities .Good health is a result of exercise and this has nothing to do with age, hence the festival cut across the age divide from primary schools to adults. The festival was innovative as there was a multi stakeholder committee put in place to spear head coordination of the event .It also brought the uniformed civil servants to compete against the general public.

The project was set out to promote and develop sports arts and culture in line with government policy, to identify and nurture talent among participating athletes and artists, to promote right to health through community participation in sport ,to foster peace and unity in the community, to promote local businesses, traders and vendors, to minimise idleness and delinquency amongst the youths, to reduce gender based violence, to showcase local talent and to educate parents that sport is just as good as academics.

In total the project reaches 3000 beneficiaries. The project has benefited about 1000 people directly 2000 indirectly. Chegutu Municipality allocated $1000 to this project. In kind contributions made by council amounted to $1500.The total budget for this project is $2 500.

This project lacked adequate monitoring and evaluation frameworks. For the sake of development and implementation of the project, the group used feedback from participants and community spectators and post event evaluation meeting. Some of the challenges which were faced includes lack of time management. Events were being planned at short notice hence limited time to mobilise resources  .However, the group had to work around the clock with several trips made as follow ups to pledges. Sporting equipment was also a major challenge on the implementation of this project. To overcome this situation, teams were advised to bring their own sports kits. Lack of funds to sponsor for refreshments and first Aid kits was also major problem to the extent that participants had to bring their own necessary medicine to accommodate themselves during the sports activities.

Women have been able to participate freely in sports and arts .They are now able to manage their time as they balance work and play. Most women are into vending hence the event promoted their small businesses from selling freezits and other food stuffs. Through socialisation relations have been made as well as peer learning and sharing of available business opportunities. They have also benefitted in terms of health as sports promotes healthy living. One female entrepreneur says:“Pfupajena sports festival has boosted my freezit business”.


Attitudes towards men have also changed. Men are now seen giving permission to their wives time to attend trainings as well as the competitions themselves. They have also given them moral support by cheering them throughout as well as encouraging them to soldier on against stiff competition. Some have provided financial support by providing refreshments, allowances and transport for teams they sponsor.

At the community level, peace and unity has been fostered as people from all political divides came together to participate and celebrate the event. People now have a keen interest in sport to the extent that people living with disabilities and other disciplines also pressured to be included in the next festival. Various individuals have now come up with sponsored tournaments e.g. netball as a way to continue promoting sport. This project can be sustained by making sure the sports and Arts committee remains active and hold events annually as planned. It can also be sustained by increasing the number of sporting disciplines subject to engaging partners for sponsorship.

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