BY GERALD MUTSVAIRO
Telecommunications company TelOne have given the World Cup-bound Zimbabwe national netball team a timely shot in the arm after donating ZWL$40 000 to the cash-strapped side set to travel to England for the global showcase.
Despite their historic success of qualifying to the World Cup, the netball team has struggled to attract meaningful sponsorship and TelOne’s intervention has boosted the team’s coffers ahead of the tournament that will be staged in Liverpool, England, this July.
Zimbabwe International Netball Association (Zina) have been on the prowl for sponsorship to raise funds for the team’s travel expenses as well as allowances and bonuses.
Team coach Lloyd Mutasa said this donation would make things easier for him and his team in their preparations as they aim for a top-10 finish.
“This donation is very important for us. I’m humbled and very happy at the same time because it has made things easier for us,” he said.
“We are working hard to prove that we are champions and by this gesture that TelOne has shown, we are aiming to be in the top 10.”
TelOne board chairperson Juliet Machoba said her organisation noticed the challenges that the team was facing in its preparations and they decided to give a helping hand.
“We read and heard about the challenges the team has been facing in their preparatory journey,” she said.
“As corporates, it remains imperative that we also chip in, especially in light of the current challenges we are experiencing in the economy. The success of the team depends on how
much support they get from all of us, not the government alone.”
Machoba congratulated the netball team as well as the administration for qualifying to the World Cup.
“Well done to the Gems and Zimbabwe Netball Association without whose support the girls could not have reached this far. Kudos to Mrs (Leticia) Chipandu and her team. I wish you the best in your quest for the ultimate trophy,” she said.
Chipandu urged women to support the team, saying they had formed a fundraising committee to mobilise financial resources for this trip.
“We are urging women from Zimbabwe to come together and support the girls who have made it to the World Cup. We have formed a fundraising project, which allows everyone from Zimbabwe and abroad to support the Gems. Soon, it will be launched,” she said.