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Schools converge for softball championships

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A total of 10 schools from Harare will converge at Queen Elizabeth High School on Saturday for the Under-19 Girls High Schools Fast Pitch softball provincial championships.

Tafara 1 High, Eaglesvale, Dzivarasekwa 2 High, Mufakose 4 High, Oriel Girls High, Glen View 1 High, Kambuzuma 1 High, Roosevelt High, Girls High and the host school will compete for the ticket to the national finals to be held in Mutare at the end of July.

Zimbabwe Softball Association president Stonard Mapfumo on Thursday told NewsDay Sport the provincial tournaments would also take place in all the other country’s provinces and four schools from each province would qualify for the national finals.
St Joseph’s of Mutare are the defending champions.

Mapfumo said the national softball technical team would use the national finals to scout for players that would represent the country in the Under-19 Girls’ World Cup to be held in Cape Town, South Africa, in December this year.

“The schools are our development league and the technical team will use the national finals to scout players to beef up the Under- 19 girls’ World Cup-bound squad,” said Mapfumo.

“Softball has always been regarded as a minor sport but it has shown significant signs of growth in recent years. We now have the Under-10-14 age groups in primary schools and also the Under- 16 and above in high schools.

“We have more players graduating into the national teams from schools so I think we are moving in the right direction,” added Mapfumo.

Mapfumo however appealed to the corporate world and the government for sponsorship as his association battles to raise at least $69 000 to send the Zimbabwe team to the World Cup.

The last time Zimbabwe qualified for the softball World Cup tournament was in 2007, but the Under-16 national team could not travel to the Czech Republic after failing to secure visas.

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