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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Other sports codes rally behind the Gems

Story by Mthokozisi Dube

THE senior netball team, the Gems, have set a high sporting excellence bar for other sports codes to emulate after securing a second consecutive appearance at the Vitality Netball World Cup which starts on the 28th of this month in Cape Town.

Having finished eighth in their maiden participation at the Vitality Netball World Cup in Liverpool, England in 2019, the Gems are hoping for a good hunt in their second mission at the pinnacle netball tournament in Cape Town, South Africa.

Their record second appearance is not a mean feat and has thus motivated other local sports codes to rally behind the team.

Former Bulawayo Athletics Board Chairperson Manuel Mpofu believes the Gems’ success is a national treasure that should serve to inspire other athletes from various sporting disciplines.

“We are happy about the achievement and our trust is for them to hoist our national flag very high. If you look at the squad, they are players who started from these same courts and others are relishing the chance of representing their country because they have come to believe that it’s possible,” said Mpofu.

With four players in captain Felistas Kangwa, former Josiah Primary School player Nicole Muzanenhamo, Ursula Ndlovu and Beula Hlongwane as part of the Gems squad, Bulawayo Province National Association of Primary Heads, head-in-charge, Lizzy Sibanda says the success story is set to motivate junior netball players.

“Our young players have been talking about these local players who are part of the squad and we trust it is going to motivate them to aim higher as we wish our Gem swell in their hunt,” she said.

Meanwhile, as part of intensifying their preparations for the tournament which roars into life on the 28th of this month, the Gems played a warm-up match against England this Sunday where they lost 64-36.

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