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Zim Netball Gems begin camp for African Champs

The Zimbabwe National Netball team "ZIMGEMS" who are expected to take part at the African Championships commencing this weekend from Friday 19-22 October at the Bellville Velodrome in Cape Town South Africa have started their camp belatedly.

With less than five days to go before the start of the African Championships, there are no travel plans in place, no airfares. The team requires at least US $ 10 000 to cater for travel and accommodation for the journal to Cape Town, SA.

The Zim Netball Gems were in impressive at the recent Vitality World Cup in Liverpool, England where they went as underdogs and managed to improve their ranking from 16 to number 8 in the world.

Following their impressive showing at the 2019 Netball World Cup where they finished a credible 8th, Zimbabwe were recently drawn in Group B together with rivals and defending champions Uganda who finished 7th in Liverpool, Kenya and Tanzania while Group A consists of South Africa who finished 4th in Liverpool, Zambia, Malawi who also finished 5th in Liverpool and Lesotho.

Hosts SA are the top ranked side after their 4thth place finish at the Liverpool Vitality World Cup, followed by Uganda who finished 7th and Malawi 6th who were part of the four African contigent teams at the world netball showpiece.

The African Netball Championships tournament in SA will feature eight nations including hosts South Africa, defending Ugandan champions along with Kenya, Malawi, Zambia, Eswatini, Tanzania and Zimbabwe in 2 pool categories.

Malawi and Uganda announced their preliminary squads in September 2019 while SA announced their squad last week.

Stiff and intense competition is expected over the five days which requires great athleticism and player mangement. A demanding schedule of almost 8 games in five days will be the ultimate physical test for the girls and push them to their limits.

A must assembled team is understood to have begun camp and training at their traditional home, the Mbare Stodart Netball complex, in the capital. Officials not forthcoming on the names and players called up for camp.

There was a delay in naming the team and announcing the camp due to pending issues that were yet to be resolved by the Supreme sports governing body in the country the Sport & Recreation Commission (SRC).

Zimbabwe Netball Association is under fire from all corners stand accused of maladministration and incompetence after failing to secure sponsorship to run a national league, the Netball Super League where the majority of players that went to the world cup including those from the development side were drawn from .

The bickering between the netball administrators over the way the team and the money fun-raised for the Vitality Netball World Cup in Liverpool was handled.

There are allegations that the Zimbabwe Netball Association failed to account for the funds raised for the world cup by different sponsors, but Zina responded saying they had accounted for the funds and presented their audited accounts to the SRC in line with the best practices and the SRC Act .

Sponsors have not been forthcoming although it is understood that National Foods Pvt Ltd, one of the major sponsors of the team at the World cup has offered a bailout package to be unveiled on Wednesday at a press conference.

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