As a child the closest she came to seeing her sporting role models was through radio and television. Nonetheless swimming sensation Kirsty Coventry has changed all this for over 10 000 school children whom she gave a chance to be up close and personal with their sporting icon during her countrywide motivational tour which ended on Saturday the 8th of February.
The tour that was powered by Econet Wireless, Croco Motors and African Sun ran with an objective “to inspire youth to become their own heroes.” “My goal for this tour is to instill enough inspiration into one person that 15 years from now, they can turn around and say they believed and because of that, they succeeded,” Coventry said when she kick started the tour last month. And true to her words, Coventry regarded as one of Zimbabwe’s greatest sports personalities of all time delivered countless speeches and motivational memos of her own life experiences to inspire children to become the best that they can be.
15 years from now, they can turn around and say they believed and because of that, they succeeded
In her countrywide tour, the former backstroke world record holder reached Marondera’s Godffrey Huggins Primary School, Mutare’s Hartzell High School, Mutare Girls High, Masvingo’s Morganster High School, Zvishavane’s Paraplegic Athletics Club, Bulawayo’s Eveline High School, Mpopoma High School and Harare’s Prince Edward School among others. By the end of the 15-day tour Coventry admitted that speaking to kids of diverse cultures across the country had left a lasting impression in her life.
Below are some of the excepts taken from Coventry’s Facebook page on her sentiments on the proceedings of the tour.
- “Our second stop was at Hartzell High, just outside Mutare. We had a few students come from St. James Zongoro High, St. Augustine High, St Davids Bonda and Tsvingwe Secondary. I couldn’t believe the huge number that were there, there were just over 1000 pupils.”
- “We stopped in at Gweru to visit Chaplin where 29 different schools sent their representatives. It was hot and crowded but we spent an awesome time interacting and over an hour signing autographs and taking photos.”
- “Today we visited Chinhoyi High School where both my mum and Tyrone’s mum went to school. My Gran also used to teach here so we have a lot of History with this place.”
- After Chinhoyi High School we visited Kutama College. I never realised it was such a big school. There are 890 students here, all boys, all boarding. We had a great tour of the school and an amazing reception from everybody when we entered the main hall.
- “I visited my dad’s ex-school today, Prince Edward. It was fantastic catching up with some of the pupils. They were very impressed that I knew the PE handshake.”