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16 year old para athlete Pride Mafira says he was happy to have put Victoria Falls on the world stage while representing Zimbabwe at the recently held 12th Fazza International Athletics championships -Dubai 2021 World Para Athletics Grand Prix earlier this month.
The young athlete who recorded his personal best jump of 3.01m in the long jump event also represented the country in the 100m race.
“I was very happy to also put Victoria Falls on the map. I was excited and looking forward to my race I was very happy because I got a chance to participate in the world championships and I now have to train very hard to improve my times and to improve on my long jump,” said Mafira
“I was happy to be the youngest competitor that was there and I got a lot of exposure because I was running with people who were older than me though I didn’t qualify so I now have to up my game and take it to the next level,” he added.
Pride Mafira went on to say that he is driven by his desire to make his city and his parents ‘proud’.
“I told myself… I have to face the giants with courage. I want to make my parents, city, country and the continent happy in the next competitions,” he said.
The 16-year-old amputee who has two older sisters and lives with his parents in Victoria Falls, had to overcome funding huddles to make his para athletic dreams come true and says he owes a lot to his father cum-coach for pushing him towards his goal.
Mafira decries the lack of facilities in Victoria Falls and has to rely on Victoria falls Primary School and Mosi oa Tunya High for his training.
“I think Victoria Falls doesnt have the facilities that can properly groom athletes. I personally rely on Victoria Falls Primary School and Mosi oa Tunya High School. Our Chinotimba Stadium is not user friendly and I hope we will have a stadium with a Titan track in the future,” he said
Going forward Pride Mafira looks to set up an Athletics club that will recruit athletes with special abilities as well as able bodied athletes.
“I am also looking forward to setting up an Athletics Club. We have a name already. It will be called Unique Abilities Sport. We will recruit the Visually Impaired, Amputees, Paraplegic, Downs Syndrome, Able bodied and anyone who will be interested in doing sport.”
“I do not only do Athletics but also play Badminton and Woodball. I am Team Captain for Woodball at school and I play in the mainstream.”