THE Vice-Chancellor, Professor Mqhele Enock-Hershal Dlodlo, yesterday officially opened the Zimbabwe Universities Sports Association (ZUSA) Cluster 1 Games at the NUST Sports Ground. Below is the VC’s full speech.

Ladies and Gentlemen, ZUSA has a very rich history. It was formed 23 years ago with the aim to enhance the educational experience of university students through sports competitions of excellence and to provide the top student-athletes with greater sporting opportunities. The host, NUST, is one of the four founders of ZUSA together with Africa University, Bindura University of Science Education, and UZ. The ZUSA Games started in October 1999 at the UZ with students competing in few sporting disciples of athletics, basketball, football, netball, tennis and volleyball. We applaud ZUSA Executive for growing its membership from 4 to 16 universities. They have expanded the sporting activities to include inter-university staff games and other sporting disciplines such as cricket, hockey, rugby, karate, darts, chess, table tennis, taekwondo, golf and women football. A warm welcome to you all to NUST. I am very happy to see everyone blooming in the spirit of sports. At one point, the global Covid-19 pandemic upended all areas of life and sport was no exception. It is, indeed, a great pleasure and delight to host the Zimbabwe Universities Sports Association (ZUSA) Cluster 1 games albeit under strict Covid-19 protocols. The Cluster 2 games will be staged at the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) from the 3rd to the 8th of April 2022. 

At NUST, sports are central to our academic, research and innovation activities. The University plays a significant role in the development of sport in Zimbabwe through introducing a Bachelor of Science Honours Degree in Sports Science and Coaching as well as a Master of Science in the same field. Our experts in sport science continue to work with various sporting teams and are involved in research to establish innovations that can transform sport at all levels in Zimbabwe. 

Ladies and Gentlemen! Sport, whether at a recreational, competitive or administrative level, provides a significant learning experience in promoting awareness of a healthy life-style, fostering leadership and organizational skills, building positive character traits and creating opportunities to excel. Sports teaching us some good qualities like discipline, hard work, patience, respect, team-work, among others. To all athletes, take your participation as a practical learning exercise. 

Let me take this opportunity to remind athletes and officials that sports are perceived as well-structured physical activities guided by rules and regulations. I therefore appeal to all of you to put up your best performance and adhere strictly to the rules and regulations governing all the ZUSA Games so that we can have successful competitions. Winners of competitions should display humility while other competitors should accept their fate with the spirit of sportsmanship. Sportsmen and women should interact freely since sports are meant for social interaction. You are enjoined to be friendly and ready to learn from one another. 

Sport is a very powerful tool for achieving gender equality. The ZUSA Games come at a time when the world is still celebrating the International Women’s Day. My message to all the female athletes is “BELIEVE IN YOURSELF”. The only person who can stop you from reaching your goal is you. Sport is a springboard for success. Utilise all the opportunities availed to you. 

I wish you all the best of luck during the ZUSA Games. Remember to observe all the Covid-19 protocols to make the games a success. With these few remarks, it is my honour to declare the 2022 ZUSA Cluster 1 Games Officially Opened.


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