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Busy 2019 for netball team - Zimbabwe Today
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Busy 2019 for netball team

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Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
WITH Zimbabwe set to make their debut appearance at the Netball World Cup next year, Zimbabwe Netball Association president Leticia Chipandu says it’s going to be a busy year come 2019, as they will leave no stone unturned to ensure the team is in a position to make an impression at the global stage.

The Gems booked their place at the global show-piece during the qualifiers staged in Zambia in August. This is the first time the senior netball team will compete at this stage and Chipandu knows it’s not going to be an easy road.

Sixteen countries will fight for the honours from July 12 to 21 next year and Zimbabwe were drawn in Group A together with Australia, Northern Ireland and Sri Lanka.

Chipandu said although their plans are still at an infancy stage, they have started engaging a number of potential partners and would want the team to meet regularly for camps and remain active until their departure for England in July.

“We are talking with a number of partners to get funding to prepare towards the World Cup. We have already met with a number of groups, so soon after the holidays, we will then see what we have and then we start these two-week camps.

“We are going to the Pent Series in Namibia and that’s a tournament with about five top African countries. We are hoping the likes of Uganda and South Africa will come to the tournament so that we use that one as platform to measure our capability.

“In June we have Africa Championship, whether we are hosting or not hosting the team is going to compete. Then from there we go to the World Cup,” said Chipandu.

Zimbabwe entered the race to host next year’s Africa Championships and Chipandu said they are keeping their fingers crossed and have already communicated with the Sports Commission, which has presented them with what is expected of them if they wish to have the continental event here.

“There is a possibility that we will host the Africa Championships. We have been given certain set expectations by the Sports Commission like putting into place an organising committee to look at the different needs of hosting.

“Hosting will boost our preparations because we will have a chance to call as many players as we can for camping and get the best out of all the possible in the country. We know we already have a team that played in the qualifiers and at the Diamond Challenge.

“But the technical department I think it has some areas it feels it needs to beef-up or polish so that we deliver better games” said Chipandu.

Zimbabwe will also have to consider the state of the available facilities in the event they get the right to host the Africa Championships.

The other countries that are bidding to host the championships are Kenya and Burundi.

Besides the Pent Series and Africa Championships, Chipandu said there are efforts to engage Zambia and Malawi for friendly matches as part of their preparations for the World Cup.

The team is looking at over $100 000 for their budget and the ZINA president said they are grateful to the Government for their support so far but she appealed to the corporate world to come on board and also assist make their dream to compete at the World Cup a reality.

Source: The Herald

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