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PE hosts badminton schools opener

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The badminton season kicks off today with an annual schools tournament set for Prince Edward (PE) school.

Schools that are expected to participate include hosts Prince Edward, Ellis Robins, Mazowe, Mabelreign Girls High, Marondera High, Bernard Mizeki College, Churchill Boys High, St Georges College and Westridge.

The organisers of the tournament said Harare International School have also shown interest although they had not yet confirmed by yesterday afternoon.

Prince Edward are the defending champions in the boys category while Mabelreign Girls High won last years edition in the girls group.

Badminton Association secretary-general Ngonidzashe Mhinda said they were looking forward to a good season.

Last season was good although we faced challenges along the way in terms of the training venue, players incentives and sponsorship to ensure smooth running of the sport.

As the year has started we are really optimistic that it is going to be a better year for all badminton lovers.
This season is starting off with a local schools tournament that is going to be held at PE school on Saturday (today).

We are extending this invitation to all badminton players, and those who want to join the sport.
We are targeting to attend all the international tournaments, said Mhinda.

The tournaments they want to take part in include the All-Africa Championships to be held in Ethiopia later this month and Mauritius in June, Under-15 tourney in Cameroon in July and other two tournaments in South Africa and Botswana later this year.

Because of lack of sponsorship it will be a bit difficult for us to compete in all these events, but we will run around.

The most difficult thing for us is that we dont have training facilities so we are trying to negotiate with schools so that they can give us access to their facilities.

Badminton is not yet popular in Zimbabwe, but we have said we want it to be known.

It is still being played in schools and we have only three clubs across the country. We have to start new structures all around, but the thing which is dragging us back is sponsorship.

At least if we can get training facilities, that will be a good starting point for us, said Mhinda.

Last year the association sent two participants Mhinda and Paul Kopolo to the All-Africa Games that were held in Mozambique, but crashed out in the first round.

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