Gems step up preps for World Cup

BY FREEMAN MAKOPA

NATIONAL senior women netball team, the Gems, have stepped up preparations for their maiden appearance at the Netball World Cup finals scheduled for July 12 to 21 at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England.

The ladies booked their ticket for the competition after beating Kenya in the final of the African championships in Zambia last August, and will join other 15 teams from across the world for netball’s ultimate prize.

Zimbabwe Netball Association president Leticia Chipandu said they had scheduled the team to play in a number of local and international tournaments so that they get the necessary skills to make an impression.

She told NewsDay Sport that they had managed to secure some funding to prepare the team.

“Financially, we are on the right track as we have managed to get some funding from the government and other stakeholders as well as individuals.

“Some of the individuals who have come aboard are Babra Siyachitema who pledged to provide food for the team, and Zororo Makamba,” Chipandu said.

“A UK-based company Flex will provide us with the kit as well, while Mukuru and other well-wishers have come to our aid. We are still in talks with other stakeholders that have shown interest in supporting the sport, and I think we will secure enough funding for our girls. The girls are training hard to be ready for the games.”

Chipandu said they would play a friendly against Uganda in April before travelling to Namibia for the Pent Series the following month.

They are also expected to participate in the Africa Cup in June, in what should be their last preparatory tournament before they travel to England.

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