Red carpet treatment for the Gems as they return home

Red carpet treatment for the Gems as they return home

By Anashe Murombedzi

Zimbabwe’s netball team, the Gems, arrived back home this Tuesday to a red carpet treatment after qualifying for the 2023 Netball World Cup.

Elated and cheering fans saluted the girls for flying the country’s flag high in South Africa.

“As women, we are very happy that the Gems qualified and they have raised the country’s flag high,” a fan said.

“We are happy that the Gems will go to the world cup next year and we pray they will bring it home. Go Gems Go!” cheered another fan.

Captain Felistas Kwangwa expressed gratitude to Zimbabwean for the special welcome.

“We feel so happy and honoured as a team and it showed that what we did it was not about us but for the nation. Seeing them here cheering us up to say that guys we’re proud of you it really means a lot to us,” said the team captain.

The Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation has organised accommodation for the Gems at a local hotel to appreciate their exploits.

“As a ministry, we are very proud of the girl child by qualifying for the World Cup for the second time which gains them motivation and also to the male child. So, as the ministry we have provided them with accommodation at a local hotel so they can rest then tomorrow we will notify on other programmes,” said Ignatius Vambe, Ministry of Youth Sports Arts and Recreation Deputy Director.

The Gems completed their tour of duty on Saturday with an emphatic victory over Zambia, crushing the Northern neighbours 59-41 to finish 3rd and qualify for the World Cup. 

“Now that we have qualified, we will continue with preparations and we appeal to the government, corporate world and the Association to help us with the resources to continue and also get friendly games so that the players will not relax,” said Deputy Director Vambe.

Zimbabwe will join fellow African countries Uganda, Malawi and hosts South Africa at the 2023 Netball World Cup.