The 2022 Cluster 1 Zimbabwe University Sports Association (ZUSA) games proved to be a moment of vindication for National Sports Academy. After much investment, effort and resources, students under the watchful eye of the Academy’s coach and three-time Olympian Cuthbert Nyasango, performed beyond expectations.
BUSE athletics came, competed and conquered comprehensively in track and field events, while performances of note we registered in golf and karate.
Credit has to be given to the athletics and golf coaches as they ensured disciplined performances from their teams. Department of Sports staffers ensured that the team was well catered for and ran the program smoothly for the benefit and comfort of all participating athletes. BUSE finished the games as the second best institution with a haul of 23 medals, 13 gold, 4 silver and 6 bronze. The fruits of the National Sports Academy are beginning to be realized and indeed, we might yet have representation at the Paris Olympic games in 2024.
Clad in yellow and blue, BUSE athletes shined brightest on the opening day of the 2022 ZUSA games as they took 9 gold medals in individual and team events. Leading the medal haul were Academy athletes who stood head and shoulders above their peers.
Tapiwa Makarawu finished the day as the undisputed sprint king with gold in the men’s 100m, 200m and 4x100m races. Fellow academy product, Dickson Kamungeremu won silver in the men’s 100m, bronze in the 200m and gold in the 4x100m relay race.
Academy athletes Buseni Ndlovu and Kudzanai Chiwara decimated their peers in the men’s 400 meters and 800 meters. They won gold in their respective categories. To add to his 800m gold, Kudzanai dominated the men’s 1 500m race with Tanaka Chitsotso winning bronze in the women’s 800m.
BUSE bossed field events by claiming gold and silver in the women discus and shotput. Wayne Nkoma reigned supreme by winning gold in both events while Mitchell Mandipaka won silver in women’s shotput. BUSE’s Prosper Bonofansio won bronze in the men’s discus. BUSE also won bronze in the men’s 4x400m relay final.
At the close of the day, BUSE had a medal haul of 9 gold, 2 silver and 4 bronze medals.
Considered by most a bottleneck elitist sport, Bindura University’s academy has opened access to students to learn and thrive in the sport. Against overwhelming odds, BUSE won gold in the men’s category and silver in the women’s categories. Four BUSE golfers were selected to represent university institutions against other tertiary learning institutions at the Zimbabwe Tertiary Institutions Sports Union (ZTISU) games.
BUSE’s cricket team was pitted against Midlands State University (MSU), National University of Science and Technology (NUST), and Women’s University in Africa (WOA). The team lost to eventual finalists MSU and NUST in their opening games. Despite showing grit in their bowling and fielding department, the boys’ betting left a lot to be desired. Their top order batsmen crumbled and offered little resistance. They posted 64 runs over 15 overs against MSU and 62 all out against NUST. They eventually got a consolation win against the tournament’s underdog WOA.
Phinious Chihuri was the only BUSE tennis player who won a match. He won 6-4 against ‘Big Ronnie’ from NUST. Another notable performance was from Wayne Nkomo who lost 6-7 to her AU opponent. The rest were the punching bags of all universities as they lost resoundingly, most failing to register a single set win.
The last day of the chess tournament proved a bitter pill to handle. At the end of the first day of competition, BUSE chess was within reach of a podium finish. They closed the day on position four with hope that they could push for, at the very least, a bronze medal on the final day. This was not to be as they lost heavily on the finally day and finished the tournament on position 5 out of 9 participating universities.
Upon departure from Bindura for Bulawayo, the Bison were oozing with confidence as they fancied their chances. They huddled together in a show of unity and comradely but alas Africa University (AU) gave them a reality check within the first 5 minutes of their opening game. A brutal tackle on team captain Taku left the Bison visibly quaking. They failed to adjust to the physicality of AU and thus lost 0:15.
Up next was the smaller yet agile Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT). Again the Bison failed to handle the speed and tactics that CUT played with. A 0-42 drubbing was the consequence of the Bison’s failure to adjust to their opponents’ game plan.
Like the chess team after day 1, BUSE was well within a podium finish. However, things crumbled on the second day as both the men and women’s teams fell. In the end the team did not make it to the knockout stages but they held their own against finalists UZ and AU.
The final sport of ZUSA 2022 produced an internet celebrity in BUSE’s Fadzai Mhizha. Her knock down of her UZ opponent was quickly turned into an online sticker and has since gone viral. She won gold in the women’s 64+ category. In the end BUSE had 3 gold medals (2 in the men’s category), 1 silver and 2 bronze medals.