Upcoming Zimbabwean motor-cross hotshot Tanya Muzinda has her eyes firmly set on being a regular feature on international motocross events. Tanya was crowned Junior Sportswoman of the year at the Annual National Sports Awards on Wednesday evening, ahead of Holly Bicknell (Rowing and Emily Tariro Jones (golf).
The talented rider is now focused on bigger challenges as she aims to write her name on the echelons of the sport in 2018.
The 13-year-old girl is also riding high after winning the Zimbabwe Women Roar Young Trail Blazer 2017 in the capital last week.
“Next year will be a busy one. I am scheduled to participate in more international events. I will be in Europe for the whole year to participate in the British Girls National Championships and other European countries to get a full appreciation of the levels of fast girls in Europe,” she told Business Weekly.
“I do not want to limit myself. I have performed in Zimbabwe, Southern Africa and elsewhere on the continent, but I want to go places. I want to become the first women’s motocross world champion from Africa. All girls can do it,” she said.
Motocross is a form of off-road racing that has a small following across Africa but Tanya says she will raise the country’s flag high and be the ‘light’.
“I will make a name for myself in the male-dominated sport. At five, I was already learning to handle a motorbike and was crowed the first Zimbabwean female motocross champion. I grew up around bikes and developed a passion for them from a tender age. I want to break more records and I believe it is possible.”
At the age of five, Tanya participated in her first motocross competition and came second.
She scooped the Junior Sportswoman and Junior Sportsperson of the Year award in 2015 at Zimbabwe’s National Sports Awards.
That same year, Tanya was recognised by Zimbabwe International Women’s Awards in Birmingham, England, as the Sportswoman of the Year.
The European Union appointed her ambassador for food security in rural areas at nine.
In 2013, Italian motocross legend, Stefy Bau, came to Zimbabwe and started training and managing her.
Bau facilitated Tanya’s 2016 Europe tour in which she participated in the Italian Motocross Championship – competing against some top junior and senior female riders from Europe.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe Motorsport Federation public relations manager Temba Mazvimbakumba says they are excited over the recent recognition for good governance in sports administration, which yielded an award at the Ansa awards ceremony held on Wednesday.
Sportsperson of the Year
Samson Muripo (karate).
Junior Sportsperson of the Year
Mehluli Don Sibanda (tennis).
Junior Sportswoman of the Year
1. Tanyaradzwa Muzinda (motocross)
2. Holly Bicknell (rowing)
3. Emily Tariro Jones (golf).
Junior Sportsman of the Year
1. Mehluli Don Sibanda (tennis)
2. Chengetayi Mapaya (athletics)
3. Terence Liam O’’Hara (swimming).
Junior Sportswoman of the Year with a Disability
1. Siphosami Moyo (athletics T11).
2. Pelagia Chidhakwa (athletics IC).
3. Elizabeth Matupe (athletics T12).
Junior Sportsman of the Year with a Disability
1. Edmore Solomon (athletics T46.
2. Raymond Nyati (athletics T11)
3. Munorwei Chakanyuka (athletics T46).
Sportswoman of the Year with a Disability
1. Margaret Bangajena (wheelchair racing
2. Thandiwe Ndlovu (wheelchair racing)
3. Ratidzo Tomu (wheelchair racing).
Sportsman of the Year with a
1. Elford Moyo (wheelchair racing), 2. Samson Muroyiwa (wheelchair racing), 3. Michael Mudyanadzo (Golf Special Olympics).
Sportswoman of the Year
1. Helen Costa Sinclair (bodybuilding)
2. Rutendo Nyahora (athletics)
3. Selina Manuel (bodybuilding).
Sportsman of the Year
1. Samson Muripo (karate)
2. Brian Chiringa (karate)
3. Nyasha Mauchaza (golf).
Team of the Year
1. Zimbabwe Rugby Sevens (Cheetahs – rugby)
2. Zimbabwe Cricket Team (Chevrons – cricket)
3. Kenneth Raynor & Keegan Smith (rowing).
Coach of the Year
1. Gilbert Nyamutsamba (rugby)
2. Heath Hilton Streak (cricket)
3. Kristine Johnson (rowing).
Technical Official of the Year
1. Annie Joyce Muchenu (basketball)
2. Patrick Mukondiwa (boxing)
3. Agnes Chiroodza (netball).
Sports Administration of the Year
1. Zimbabwe Aquatic Union
2. Zimbabwe Motorsport Federation
3. Rowing Association of Zimbabwe.
Sports Development of the Year
1. Zimbabwe Karate Union
2. Zimbabwe Ladies Golf
3. Equestrian Zimbabwe.
Women and Sports Award
1. Lorna Margaret Riley (swimming)
2. Leticia Chipandu
3. Rosemary Mugadza.
Special Acknowledgement Award
Prophet Walter Magaya
Mashonaland West Province.
Rowing Association of Zimbabwe, Triathlon Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe Archery Association, Zimbabwe Equestrian Federation, Zimbabwe Ladies Golf Union, Zimbabwe Karate Union, Zimbabwe Motor Sports Federation, Zimbabwe Olympic Committee, Zimbabwe Aquatic Union.