BY MAGRETH RUZVIDZO
Zimbabwe Netball Association (Zina) president Leticia Chipandu has hailed the Premier Netball League (PNL) which hosted its inaugural awards ceremony on Saturday.
Speaking at the event, Chipandu vowed to keep on supporting the league which she said is a platform to nurture talent.
“It wasn’t easy to get here. It took courage, vision and purpose for these people to come up with PNL, the first professional league in Zimbabwe. This is where we are getting most of our players that play in the national team,” Chipandu said.
“I want to say PNL there is no going back, we are moving forward and you will get all the support. Zina will support you as much as we can and advise you where you need help. We want you to take netball higher than it has ever been then.”
In a speech read on her behalf, Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation minister Kirsty Coventry thanked the PNL for bringing players from different cities together to play netball.
“I would like to thank sponsors who believe in supporting the women in sport, I would like to encourage them to continue standing with us as we unearth rare gems in the sport of netball,” Coventry said.
“Whether you win or lose tonight, let this be a learning point that with hard work and consistency we can all have an opportunity to win.”
A number of teams collected prizes with fourth-placed Ngezi Queens getting a trophy and US$100, second runners-up ZDF Queens took home US$600, a trophy and medals. Harare City were the first runners-up and walked away with US$800, a trophy and medals.
The PNL champions, Platinum Queens scooped US$1 200, a trophy and medals.
There were also individual prizes with Mercy Chinyama from Harare City winning the golden hand award, US$100 and a hamper. Nicole Muzanenhamo from GreenFuels won the player of the year award and walked away with US$250, a shield and a hamper.
Filchrist Academy won the most disciplined team award while Platinum Queens coach Simbabrashe Mlambo won the coach of the year award and both were awarded US$100 and a hamper.
PNL became the first professional league to be registered in Zimbabwe last year and they managed to run a crash programme which ended in November.
- Follow Magreth on Twitter @MagrethRuzvidzo