Professional conduct important for athletes- Mabika

Shelly Guni

Dubai-based marathon runner Royal Mabika believes athletes should be taught on how to conduct themselves professionally.

Mabika, who is set to host a two-day Sports Career Camp at Mathanha Secondary School in Mhondoro Mubaira, believes that a large number of talented athletes do not value sport, and as a result, it is not taken seriously.

The camp will be held on August 12 and 13, and Mabika will preside over it alongside Joyce Katopa, the founder of Amor Sports, and Tawanda Murepa, a drug and mental health expert.

“The first step is to help them understand what it takes to be a professional athlete. Many people in Zimbabwe are interested in sports, but they are not professionals,” he said.

“As a result, we will share with them some opportunities that they can pursue.” Local athletes in other countries, such as the UAE, where I live, receive monthly allowance packages from corporations. That, I believe, is our main challenge in Zimbabwe.”

Mabika said rural athletes have been overlooked, adding that he wishes to make an impression in the rural communities.

“Some of the people who can raise our country’s flag high are actually deep in marginalized communities; all they need is guidance to get to the top,” he said.

Mabika hopes to host many of these camps while also focusing on rural areas where he believes there is a lot of untapped talent.

“It must be ongoing. I plan to do the same in Nyanga South with local MP Supa Mandiwanzira.

“I have realized that there are a lot of talented young people in rural areas, and the majority of them aren’t sure what to do next.

“The Mhondoro Mubaira event will be the first of its kind, so I’m looking forward to seeing how things go over the two days, but I have heard that the Mhondoro Mubaira community is very excited.”

“The community will appreciate sport in a different way,” he predicts ahead of this event.

“Some of them will be inspired to pursue their dreams even further knowing what awaits them in the future,” he said, adding that it is important to change the mindset of a rural athlete.

He also discussed the importance of working with Murepa, a mental health expert.

“A mental health expert who specializes in drug awareness, the idea is to let them know that as much as they want to participate in sports, they must avoid drugs.”

Mabika then paid tribute to Michael Monson, the MD of Monson Funerals and Crematorium, who he said has supported the majority of his programs.

He is, however, appealing to other corporations to support him in this program, which he believes will change the lives of many young talented athletes in rural areas.

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