A Judo team from Tongogara Refugee Camp in Chipinge has made the district a pride. The team scooped 13 medals at a Japanese Ambassador Cup Competition that was held at Hellenic Junior School Hall in Harare on October 27, 2023.
The competition was coordinated by the Judo Association of Zimbabwe (JAZ) and was graced by the Japanese Ambassador to Zimbabwe, His Excellence Satoshi Tanaka and the JAZ President Mr Smart Deke.
The 16 member team saw athletes participating in all categories of Junior, Cadet, Youth and Seniors. The team won 8 gold, 3 silver and 2 bronze medals.
According to Tongogara Refugee Camp Administrator, Johanne Mhlanga, Judo team is one of the sport codes established to include refugees and asylum seekers in sport and cultural programmes.
“The Judo team is one of the sport codes established and strengthened at Tongogara Refugee Settlement in fulfilling the pledge made by the Government of Zimbabwe to facilitate the inclusion of refugees and asylum seekers in sport and cultural programmes.
“The athletics team is a stepping stone towards having a refugee team at the Olympic games. Coincidentally, the competition came at a time when Zimbabwe is preparing for the 2nd United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Global Refugee Forum to be held in Geneva in December 2023.
“The country will join fellow progressive member states in reviewing progress made so far in implementing the pledges made in 2019. At the fora, Zimbabwe will commit new pledges to strengthen refugee protection in line with international aspirations.
“More importantly, all this is in line with our Agenda for Transformation towards the Tongogara We Want,” he said.