BY MAGRETH RUZVIDZO
The Basketball Union of Zimbabwe (BUZ) has said action is set to resume in a phased approach after a long period of inactivity due to the COVID-19 restrictions.
BUZ president Joe Mujuru said basketball was taking a different route as compared to other sporting activities, which had already made a comeback.
In football, the Premier Soccer League is already running the Chibuku Super Cup as a first step towards the resumption of the league.
Mujuru said administrative issues had delayed the return of the leagues.
“The situation at basketball is a bit different because basketball is in its final year, meaning we are in an elective season this year. Therefore, we have taken a bit of a different approach in the sense that we have then instructed our structures to sort out their administration in terms of housekeeping of annual general meetings,” he said.
“We have started to roll out that administration programme in different provinces. We are done now with Harare (province), Bulawayo, while in Manicaland the process is still on-going. Given that they are a big province, they are in the process of sorting that out at district level. The same applies to Mashonaland West and Midlands. We are in Matabeleland North on June 5, then Mashonaland East.”
Mujuru said clubs had been allowed to play only at provincial level, but in the 3-on-3 version of the game.
“In terms of playing, we have allowed provinces in the meantime to be competing in 3-on-3 version of basketball and we are hoping that this will grow the game, bring a little bit of excitement and get our athletes back into action while we are also testing our COVID-19 protocols and preparedness,” he said.
Mujuru added that they were adhering to COVID-19 protocols set by government and FIBA and added that starting by 3-on-3 games would help adhere to those regulations.
“We think that 3-on-3 will be a smaller version with less numbers as well as allowing us to test the functionality of the systems and looking at the budgets and so on,” he added.
“In terms of 5-on-5 versions of the games, we are expecting them to roll out as provinces are done with their administration obligations. As provinces are done, we give them a green light to get into the 5-on-5 competitions, meaning you’ll expect Harare to start playing 5-on-5 basketball anytime from now as and when they are ready and we expect that also from Bulawayo.”
In terms of international competitions, Mujuru said they were already training the Under-16 for the Afro basketball qualifiers, which will take place in Mali around August.
He added that they were yet to engage the sponsors to chip in as soon as they had put their structures in
“We are in the process of coming out from the COVID-19 pandemic, so before engaging with the corporate world, which we are now starting to do, we have been putting our systems in place as we have been out of action for almost 15 months and as a result a lot of housekeeping which has to be done,” Mujuru said.
BUZ recently appointed national team coaches of all age groups in preparation for the resumption of its matches.
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