Sports Centres in Zimbabwe
The National Sports Stadium - The Home of Football
The National Sports Stadium was opened in 1987 it is the main sports arena for many sporting events and also many national celebrations such as Independence Day celebrations. Many premier league soccer matches are held here as well as the regional and international competition matches. There are other soccer grounds in the capital city, such as Gwanzura stadium and Rufaro Stadium. Rufaro Stadium is a much smaller and older stadium but it holds a highly cherished place in the hearts of many soccer fans.
The Harare Sports Club - Cricket
The Harare Sports Club is the main sports ground used for Cricket matches in Zimbabwe. It is located in Belgravia, a location close to the city centre. It was opened in 1900 and has been a cricket venue for many years. The Club does host other sports as well, such as Rugby, Tennis and Squash. Cricket has a sizeable following in the country and a number of stellar players have emerged in the sport over the years. Some of these are Heath Streak, Andy Flower and Brendan Taylor. The Zimbabwe National Cricket team has had some successes in the past during select Test matches and ODI’s (One Day International Matches).
The City Sports Centre -Basketball
The City Sports Centre is a multipurpose sports centre which is owned by the local Municipality. It is the traditional Home of Basketball and has been the venue for many local matches as well as national level matches. Other Basketball matches are held at the University of Zimbabwe Courts. The centre is sometimes used for other sports as well such as Netball, and for other types of events and celebrations. City Sports Centre offers indoor facilities and it has a capacity of 4000 people.
The Home of Rugby
Rugby is the third largest sport in Zimbabwe. Its appeal has steadily increased over the years with more and more locals attending matches as well as a noticeable rising interest among young players and females as well. There is a flourishing Rugby union which has several leagues operating at various levels, from provincial, elite and amongst schools. The traditional home of Rugby is Hartsfield stadium located in Bulawayo.
Various league games are played around the country at selected Rugby grounds. However, the major matches are usually played in Harare at the Machinery Exchange Stadium or Old Hararians Sports Club and Old Georgians. Zimbabweans have a number of success stories in the field of Rugby and there are a number of individuals have raised the Zimbabwean flag high; some of these are David Pocock, Tendai Mtawarira, Dave Ewers and many others.
There are concerted efforts to raise more awareness about the sport and to encourage young people to support it at a grassroots level. Some of these noble initiatives include the Old Mutual community leagues, Get into Rugby, Tag Trust and so on.
The Home of Swimming
Swimming is one sport which has placed Zimbabwe on the global arena. In the past, it was the preserve of the affluent and it was not taught in all schools. However, it gained popularity with the rise of swimming sensation Kirsty Coventry. She made headlines as she beat records and successfully represented Zimbabwe in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, the All Africa Games and the Commonwealth Games. Over the years Kirsty Coventry has won 18 International medals in total. She has retired from the sport and is currently the nation’s Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation.
National Swimming galas are held at Les Brown Swimming Pool in Harare; it is also the site for many lower-level competitions such as Interschool Events and Provincial swimming meets.