Mujuru On Buz Election Campaign Trail
Basketball Union of Zimbabwe (BUZ) secretary-general and president-hopeful Joe Mujuru believes the only way for the sport to grow and professionalise is a national outlook in both development and administration.
Speaking to Sunday News Sport during the week as his campaign for the national body’s top office gathers momentum, Mujuru spoke about the need for a national outlook in both the administration and technical aspects of the game as well as the establishment of a national premier league for both men and women.
Mujuru highlighted three key areas that need to be attended yo by BUZ.
His first point is the need for Buz to take and develop a wider presence in the country. He said currently the national association and its officials seem more conscious of the sport in the two main centres of Harare and Bulawayo. Mujuru argues that such a radical shift will benefit the sport in general and the national teams in particular.
“Currently we have a situation where basketball is the preserve of Harare and Bulawayo. And this is not just on the court but administratively as well.
What we need to start doing now is to take the game both technically and administratively to the rest of the country,” Mujuru told Sunday News Sport.
“We need all the other provinces to establish structures that will one day allow a candidate from Plumtree or Bindura to be elected to a Buz office.
Technically this will create a larger pool of players for our national teams to choose from and this can only make us better on the court.”
Mujuru also revealed that development programs must be spread to even the most remote areas of the country. He gave the example of Eric Banda who rose from unfancied Thekwane to play for the national team and later on become a national team coach himself.
“Eric Banda came from Thekwane to play and coach the national team. If a player from a remote place like that had the drive to overcome limited infrastructure and go on to play for the national team must mean if we go there and other such remote places we can surely develop more players and administrators,” Mujuru argues.
Mujuru called for more transparency in the local game from technical appointments to selecting participants for coach training programs. He also said there is a need for the establishment of a database for technical staff currently working in the country as well their qualifications.
“A database of our coaches and their qualifications will allow us to be more informed when we have to appoint coaches for our national teams,” he said.
Mujuru revealed that his tenure as Buz president will be characterised by the establishment of a technical program that will enable Zimbabwe to develop its own playing style.
In addition to the technical ambitions, Mujuru said he wants his Buz to develop role models as well as to increase exposure of the national teams to basketball fans across the country. He said role models ensure that kids are inspired to play the sport while exposure of national teams creates superstars.
“There are two things that will boost numbers of both players and fans. One is the creation of role models for young players to identify with and the second is taking our national teams to the people and increase their (national teams) exposure as this will develop superstars among the national team players. This, in turn, brings marketable value for both the sport and the players,” Mujuru said.
The Southern Mavericks founder said he will also look at the establishment of national leagues to boost the market value of the sport. Mujuru believes that for the sport to grow and possibly professionalise, national premier leagues should be established with the utmost urgency.
“For us to become visible and attract corporates to partner us we have to establish national premier leagues. No one wants to put their money into amateur events like ours which are run provincially at the moment. We need these national leagues to give us market value,” Mujuru concluded.