Chipandu retains Zina presidency

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Chipandu retains Zina presidency

BY MAGRETH RUZVIDZO
The Zimbabwe Netball Association (Zina) re-elected president Letitia Chipandu says she seeks to improve the sport in the country, focussing on getting new partnerships and marketing strategies.

The veteran administrator retained her seat uncontested during their elective annual general meeting (AGM) held in Mbare at the weekend.

In an interview with NewsDay Sport, Chipandu said she was delighted by her re-election which gives her courage to continue uplifting the sport.

“I feel very humbled, encouraged and appreciated because it’s not easy to run a sport at this level with such difficult financial situations, but we have been able to make a mark in the country as netball as well as regionally and internationally. To me it’s a vote of confidence on me and it’s going to propel me to work harder as we move forward,” Chipandu said.

Chipandu said there were a number of long and short-term plans on board which will be implemented in the long run.

“We can expect a lot. We are looking at improving our world ranking from 12 to 8 and that’s very possible. We are also looking at decentralisation of our leagues in the country. We have encouraged our provinces to play leagues at district level and perhaps have inter-district competitions at provincial level to build strong provincial teams for different age groups because most of our community teams don’t have sponsorship to travel across the country,” she said.

“We are also looking at getting more girls to work as professional netball players. So far we only have about two — Joyce Takaedza in Australia and Felistas Kwangwa in the UK. We want to export more of our girls to play in professional leagues and make a name and a living for themselves as well as making a name for our country.”

As the Premier Netball League (PNL) is commencing its season this coming weekend, she emphasised that there is also a need for local players to play professionally in their respective clubs.

“We want to encourage our main league to be competitive and better organised so that they can also compete in these regional tournaments. We are looking at having mass participation for recreational purposes. ”

“We are also looking at qualifying for the World Cup; there is no mistake on this. This is one of the shortest goals we need to achieve. So far we have already had our national team in camp for almost a month in preparation for the World cup qualifiers. The World Cup will be in South Africa and that’s just our neighbour. We cannot fail to go and we want to do better than what we did in Liverpool. ”

“We intend going to Uganda and Malawi for friendly games so that we sharpen our team in preparation for the qualifiers. We are going to bank on our foreign-based players to propel the team to win.”

Zimbabwe made their maiden appearance at the 2019 Vitality Netball  World Cup in Liverpool and managed to finish in eighth position.

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