BY GERALD MUTSVAIRO
The Zimbabwe netball team, the Gems, yesterday received ZWL$300 000 from Simbisa Brands and and ZWL$200 000 National Foods ahead of their departure for Liverpool, England, where they will participate in the World Cup tournament.
Several organisations have fallen over each other to try and support the national team, who sent out a begging bowl as they sought funds to try and make the trip a success.
The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority was set to make their own contribution late afternoon yesterday.
The captain, Perpetua Siyachitema, said the donations would motivate the team to do well in England.
“The donations are a motivation to the girls. It shows that people have now realised that the girl child needs support,” she said.
“This is a very big reward for us and we are geared up. We have a lot to prove, we want to prove that we can actually do better than males. We have qualified to the World Cup and no
team in Zimbabwe has done this. We want to prove to Zimbabwe that we are the best and that women can go far.”
The Gems are targeting at least a top-eight finish and are confident that they will surprise many teams despite being underdogs.
“We just want to go and play our hearts out no matter the challenges and even with no allowances. We want to make history, play and brand Zimbabwe,” Siyachitema said.
The team is expected to leave the country at around 3pm this afternoon.
National Foods group marketing executive Lawrence Kutinyu said they hoped the donation would go a long way in helping The Gems.
“We are happy that they have accepted it with great gesture. We thought that something needed to be must be done as the girls have done a fantastic job and we saw that they really
needed supported from us,” he said.