By Takudzwa Chitsiga
Top Zimbabwean motocross female racer Tanya Muzinda yesterday received a shot in the arm ahead of her historic tour of Europe when a local mobile telephone network company NetOne gave her a cash sponsorship of $6 000.
Muzinda (11) is now scheduled to leave for Europe on Friday for a month-long tour which will first take her to Italy and then Belgium; and if funds permits, she will then proceed to the Netherlands and France.
Her trip to Europe is being facilitated by her international manager, former three-time world women’s motocross champion, Stefy Bau of Italy, who is based at Tennessee in Florida, United States.
And yesterday, Muzinda, a French International School Class CM2 pupil, was all smiles after she received $6 000 from NetOne which will help her during her month-long training stint in Europe.
Speaking on behalf of NetOne’s acting chief executive officer, Brian Mutandiro, the company’s communications manager John Nyashanu said they are happy to be associated with Muzinda and will continue to support her whenever possible.
“We see a rare achievement of the girl child. We see a world champion in the making and a hope for Zimbabwean sport. The sport (motocross) has been seen as a peripheral sport, a preserve of a minority section of our society, but this was before the entrance of our ‘golden girl’ Tanya Muzinda who has literally taken the sport by storm.
“We have been monitoring her as she broke records, becoming the first black female rider to win the Zimbabwe championship in 2011 before she went on to be crowned the best rider in 2014,” Nyashanu said.
NetOne also praised Muzinda for being appointed the European Union’s honorary ambassador for food security in Zimbabwe’s rural areas as well as for Youth, Gender, Sports and Development.
“Our relationship with Tanya started last year when we sponsored her trip to England where she was nominated for the Zimbabwe International Women Awards Sportswoman of the Year Award, which she won.
“Of course, her requirements are mammoth and obviously one organisation cannot manage it alone so we therefore call for other partners to come on board,” added Nyashanu.
Muzinda was grateful to NetOne for their support and hoped the relationship will continue, promising that she will continue to work hard in her quest to become the first Women’s Motocross World Champion from Africa.
“I would like to thank NetOne for the support and in return I promise to do well in the sport. I would also like to thank the Ministry of Sport and Recreation for the support they are giving me,” she said.
Her father and trainer, Tawanda, said they are happy to have an opportunity to train and race in Europe.
“We are very grateful for the kind gesture from NetOne which has enabled Tanya to go and race at highest level in Europe. We will be going there to learn and to improve on her motocross riding skills and this is a good opportunity for us.
“We are not expecting much during this tour as it is our first time to go to Europe but definitely we would like to win some of our races,” Tawanda Muzinda said.
During her tour of Europe, Tanya will also practice in Belgium and will have an opportunity to take part in two high profile race meetings on August 14 and August 21.
The youngster will also have an opportunity to race in France, Italy and the Netherlands.