Help Gems realise their dream

Shelly Guni

It is more difficult for Zimbabwe to conquer the world in football than in netball, hence the belief that just half the efforts in football could help netball realise its dream.

The Gems are preparing for the Netball World Cup qualifiers to be held in Pretoria  from August 20-27, but little support has been shown towards the team.

The team is eying for their second successive appearance at the netball global showcase to be held in Cape Town, South Africa.

Spar has come on board and been helping the team on monthly basis after their successful partnership in March. But is it enough for a team that carries the country’s hopes?

This is the first time the tournament is held on African soil, after South Africa won the bid over New Zealand in 2019.

The technical team named a 15 member squad that will travel to South Africa for the tournament.

Gems manager Agness Chiroodza confirmed the development saying they have registered 15 players.

“We have trimmed our team to 15 and they will all be traveling to South Africa.”

Australia based Joice Takaedza was also named in the traveling squad.

“We are expecting Joice to join the team on the 13th. We are also scheduled to leave the country on the 16th for South Africa.”

Netball is one of the most followed sports in Zimbabwe but it has been failing to get the same priority as football.

This is despite the fact that netball is one of the most popular women’s sports in the country.

The finer aspects of the game has evolved so much, talent-wise Zimbabwe is one of the best in the best in Africa.

As the landscape of women’s sport grows, netball still has the chance to be at the forefront of this developing phenomenon, but in order to do so it must seize the initiative; it must start asserting itself as that possibility.

The Gems as the Zimbabwe senior netball side is affectionately known, in 2019 shook off some unwanted rust on their diadems to surprise all and sundry when finished eighth during their maiden appearance at the Vitality Netball World cup.

Sadly, it had to take the Gems participation at the World Cup for netball to command a huge following.

Historically, In 2017, the young Gems also played their first ever Netball Youth World Cup and finished ninth.

The tournament was held in Botswana but they have also failed to get the recognition like any other sport after such an achievement.

It seems like it took the 2019 Netball World Cup to finally make people realise how much joy netball could give to the nation.

The senior netball team, Gems, showed the world how passion, resilience, hard-work and determination can bring positive results.

Despite the Gem’s embarrassing defeats to Botswana and Namibia in last year and in June this year, respectively, the team overall performance has been improving in the past years, and their debut appearance at the world cup showed how the sport has grown in the country.

Team

1. Felisitus Kwangwa

2. Claris Kwaramba

3. Priscilla Ndlovu

4. Tanaka Makusha

5. Elizabeth Mushore

6. Tafadzwa Matura

7. Joice Takaedza

8. Chipo Shoko

9. Nicole Muzanenamo

10. Progress Moyo

11. Sharon Bwanali

12. Nobukhosi Ndlovu

13. Beaula Hlungwane

14. Ursula Ndlovu

15. Patricia Mauladi

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