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Softball team fails to travel to Cape Town

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The Zimbabwe Under-19 women’s junior softball team has failed to travel to the International Softball Federation Junior Women World Championships which begin today in Cape Town, South Africa, citing lack of funds.

Zimbabwe, who miss out on the global competition for the second time, were expected to make their debut at the event.

In 2009, the 16-and-under girls’ team qualified for the World Championships in the Czech Republic, but they could not travel to the event after they failed to secure visas.

Zimbabwe Softball Association presidentStonard Mapfumo said they had failed to raise the $22 000 required to cover the team’s travel and food expenses while in South Africa.

“We were supposed to be leaving today (yesterday) for the tournament, but we will no longer be taking part because of lack of funding.

There were some corporates who had made pledges, but unfortunately they were not in writing, so when we made follow-ups they were not forthcoming.

“We also approached the Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture, but they couldn’t assist us. The team had been training hard for the championships, so you can imagine how frustrating it is for the youngsters especially now that it’s the second time it has happened.

Unfortunately this gives Zimbabwe a bad image as we have been qualifying for these tournaments and then failing to fulfil our commitments,” Mapfumo said.

Had Zimbabwe travelled for the tournament they would have been one of three African countries together with Botswana and South Africa taking part in the 16-team tournament.

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