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Zina prepares for bumper netball season

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Austin Karonga

SENIOR SPORTS WRITER

karongaa@dailynews.co.zw

ZIMBABWE Netball Association (Zina) has lined up a packed calendar that will see a lot of activity both locally and in the region.

Following the recent clearance by the ministry of Sport to resume netball activities which was communicated to the association by the Sports and Recreation Commission on December 4, Zina wasted no time as the board sat in Harare yesterday to map the way forward.

Zina president Letitia Chipandu said they are working flat out to make sure everything is in place.

“The resumption of netball news was received with great happiness and joy because everyone had missed the game for a long time.

“We are going to send out the protocols as to how the teams should start training and how they should play games in accordance with the World Health Organisation as well as ministry requirements with regards to Covid-19,” Chipandu told the Daily News after the meeting yesterday.

“We are going to send the requirements to all the provinces, to our teams and to all registered leagues and we are urging all leagues to register with Zina so they fall under the umbrella body of netball.

“That way they will be protected as they are playing netball because we will only be answerable to our members whom we are going to communicate with on the resumption of netball.

“We will give each club a copy of the protocols so that they know exactly how to behave in the post Covid-19 environment. It is our hope that our members will adhere to the protocols.

“We need to protect our players and the technical team because we need to save lives by observing the Covid-19 protocols.”

Chipandu said the coming year will be a good mix of both league programmes and continental assignments.

“It is going to be a very busy year for netball, we have an assignment as early as May where our senior team needs to go to Namibia for the Pent Series. In that regard we need to start beefing up the already existing national team by signing on taller players.

“We need to get taller players to complement our team. We also need to prepare for the Region 5 Youth Games and next year’s age group will be U18 so we need to make sure that we have identified enough players for this national team, ensure that they have passports and they are of the correct age,” she added.

“In June we will be back in Namibia for the Africa championships then the Cosana U21 for the team that was supposed to have gone for the qualifiers so that we give these girls a chance to play as they had long prepared for these games.

“We are also going to have the Cosana U21 Club championships in October.

“We are not overlooking our national assignments, we are going to have our league games, as well as the provincial Division I and 2 and the Super League.

“We will check and see how active our girls are and the quality of play they are going to display because of the lockdown so we will have a competition at the end of January for the teams that were in the Super League and those that are going to qualify from division one.”

The netball president also spoke of the National Youth Games which she described as an important platform for players to showcase their talent and boost their chances of being selected for different national team age groups.

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