A primary and secondary schools’ pre-season netball tournament set for Saturday at White City will mark the start of the Bulawayo Netball League (BNL) 2017 competitions.
Precious Mudenge, a BNL official, said Naph and Nash would be in charge of the weekend tournament, with her association overseeing the technical side of the games.
The schools’ competition precedes the BNL clubs’ pre-season open tournament to be held on March 25.
“We held our annual general meeting last week and it was agreed that instead of having the schools’ pre-season tournament being held on the same weekend as the clubs’, this time around the schools’ event will mark the start of our season. Provincial coaches will use the competition to identify some of the players to represent Bulawayo at events like the National Youth Games and other national tournaments lined up for the year,” said Mudenge.
She said the BNL had invited Christian League teams, tertiary institutions, the Lions League and their old clubs for their March 25 pre-season tournament at White City.
Mudenge said most teams had picked up their registration forms and the registration deadline was March 24.
Mudenge believes they are going to have a bigger league this season which will increase the level of competition.
“Bulawayo Metropolitan Province will not field teams in the Zimbabwe Netball Association’s Super League after teams withdrew from promotional play-offs due to lack of funding. This means for our girls to get better chances of making it into national teams, there is need to have more clubs in our league. Most teams have picked their forms, which is encouraging, and we hope to have clubs from tertiary institutions coming on board,” Mudenge said.
Last year the BNL began the season with 14 teams, 11 from Bulawayo and three from Hwange.
The Hwange clubs, Colliery, Mwachapa and ZPC Hwange, withdrew after playing a couple of games due to financial constraints.
The clubs the league is hoping to retain are ZRP Bulawayo, Highlanders, Free Stars, Delta Sparrows, Jumbos, Fairbridge, Sobukhazi, TelOne, Khami, Lupane State University and Imbizo.