BY GERALD MUTSVAIRO
The Zimbabwe senior women’s netball team, the Gems, have lined up international friendlies as part of their preparations for the July World Cup in Liverpool, England.
The preparations for the World Cup will see the team travelling to Uganda for matches on April 26 and 29.
After that they will tour South Africa between May 13 and 20.
“We are going in South Africa for the Netball Championship tournament where several South African clubs will be present and our team will play against them. South Africa Netball Association have also lined up a game against the gems which is very good for us. They have also agreed to help us to strengthen our girls providing training and support. South Africa is good in the sport, so our coaches will work with their coaches in order to produce the best out of the Gems,” said Zimbabwe Netball Association president Leticia Chipandu.
The Zimbabwe Gems will travel to Namibia for the Netball 20 series tournament in May.
This tournament will be important because strong teams such as South Africa, Uganda, Malawi and Sri Lanka are set to feature.
The Gems are also going to face Zambia, before that tournament, in a separate arrangement.
Chipandu said government was assisting the team in its preparations.
“The government played a crucial role for us. They assisted up to 40% of the needs required for the girls like training equipment and balls which are already in the Camp. We are very happy things are beginning to look good for us and we are getting things done. We are also appealing to other stakeholders and companies to help us. So far several companies have responded positively and we had a fundraising golf tournament really paid off. However, the money is still not enough.”
The netball team will start training on Monday in Harare.