Veronica Gwaze Sports Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Netball Association-run league is on the verge of collapse, as it is likely to lose some of their affiliated teams to its rival the Rainbow Netball Amateur Netball League ahead of the 2019 netball season.
This comes amid revelations that more teams are contemplating to move from the former to the latter for various reasons that include lack of professionalism and lack of motivation.
Last year the ZINA Netball Super League had 12 teams after 11 others left to join RANL.
The amateur league marked its maiden season with more than 150 teams that fall under Division One, Two and the National League. Since inception, the new baby has been seeking to affiliate to the national association but common grounds could not be reached, leaving the netball family divided into two.
RANL continued to run under the social league banner with 11 national league teams in their maiden season and if word is anything to go by, more teams are joining this coming season. The season is set to resume in March with teams already affiliating.
Sources revealed that Zimbabwe Republic Police side ZRP Mambas are one of the teams considering to move to RANL.
The Police side finished off as champions of 2018 netball season under ZINA but they were irked in the manner in which they were handed their trophy.
In a whatsapp chat possessed by the publication, Mambas team officials were expressing their displeasure over ZINA conduct.
“We are going to RANL why should we wait for such a disorganised Association. Wakamboona kupi association inotadza kuita proper trophy presentation.
“Kuita trophy yekutumira, they are not professional and we certainly cannot deal with such,” reads part of the conversation.
Ngezi Platinum Queens, Golden Valley and ZRP PPU have also been linked to issues connected to leaving the ZINA Super League.
Another disgruntled source revealed that the division of these two leagues affected their standards of play with most competitive teams having joined RANL.
“We have been in the Super League for years and not even once have we gotten anything for motivation save for what out clubs do for us despite the huge affiliation amounts we pay.
“We actually regret taking this long to join RANL because look at how organised they are and what they have achieved in just one season.
“Yes it is about passion but our players also need motivation. What sort of association is it that they cannot organise a simple trophy handover ceremony? The winning team has to follow up or go and pick it themselves.
“Furthermore, these guys do not even have offices so how do sponsors even trust someone who has no office.
“Where they follow up and if we are to improve, they need to be financially accountable as well,” said a source.
ZINA have been running for years without proper offices and their constitution does not give room for registration of other leagues running under separate management committees despite article nine of their constitution providing for provision of an amateur league.
Last year, the Sports Commission advised ZINA to relook into their constitution and also come up with the rules and regulations for the amateur league, something which is yet to materialise.
RANL benefactor Aaron Chinhara said there is need for the two sides to work together and pave a way that restores a respectable image for Zimbabwean netball.
With an initial injection of $250 000 towards the league’s first season, Chinhara doubled the figure ahead of the 2019 season.
For the first time in the history of netball in the country, Chinhara hosted an honors event at which top performers were awarded.
Champions where honored with $20 000 while first and second runners-up walked away with $18 000 and $14 000 respectively.
“In our first season, we had more than 150 teams which made up regional and national leagues.
“We had a very successful season and that alone I believe proved a point and that should mean something for the association.
“For the record, my intention has never been to destroy netball but mere distribution of workload whereby the association would be left with less burden while we focus more on the league.
“My idea was of sharing the load, leaving ZINA maybe to focus much on overseeing affairs and overally the national teams but unfortunately they never saw my good intentions,” said Chinhara.
In the event that more teams join the amateur league, Chinhara expressed confidence over his capacity to maintain a fine run.
“Last season we used only $250 000 and everything went well; come season two, we have doubled figures to $500 000 so even if all teams come under RANL, we have enough money to sustain them.
“Besides, RANL was formed to transform the life of a girl child and even if it calls for a top up, we are prepared to go an extra mile and ensure her (netballer’s) life and safety are not under siege,” said Chinhara.