BY MAGRETH RUZVIDZO
Zimbabwe’s leading volleyball clubs NABA and Harare City Women are relishing the opportunity to compete against some of the leading teams in the region after being invited to compete at FISD Mzuzu International Volleyball tournament in Malawi next month.
The two teams were awarded the slots in the competition by virtue of being the Zimbabwe men’s and women’s reigning champions respectively.
The tournament will be played at the Katoto Outdoor Courts in the city of Mzuzu from August 5 to 7.
In addition to the teams from Malawi, the tournament will also feature team from other countries which include Mbeya Best IV from Tanzania who are defending champions, Nkhwazi from Zambia and Unza from Zambia.
In an interview with NewsDay Sport, Harare City team manager Godknows Jembere said this tourney will go a long way in providing their players with the much needed exposure to high level competition outside the country.
“We are excited with the invitation to the FISD Mzuzu International Volleyball tournament. We are taking this invitation seriously because it is giving us a platform to get that much needed exposure for our youngsters as we prepare for the Zone 6 Africa Club championships set for Lusaka, Zambia in December 2022. To us, the invitation means that we are recognised within the region and as such it’s a morale booster to our ladies team and the club,” Jembere said.
As they gear up their preparations for the tournament, Jembere is optimistic that the team can pull through and secure a gold medal.
“We are very positive about the team and with the current performance, gold is possible,” he said.
“We have intensified our preparations, we have already written to the Sports Recreation Commission (SRC) for clearances through our volleyball national federation. We are also engaging the authority (council) for the same.”
NABA secretary-general Blessing Chimanga said the upcoming tour to Malawi is in line the club’s vision and will help in growing the sport in the country.
“We are thankful and appreciative of this gesture from our colleagues from Malawi who are recognising our commitment and desire to grow volleyball. This invitation falls in line with our vision to leave a telling volleyball footprint in the region and be the beacon of all sporting disciplines,” Chimanga said.
“Our players are geared up for the challenge and the boys are working hard with the coaches on various tactical aspects of the game to attain gold at the tournament.”
He also called on well-wishers to come on board and provide financially for the smooth flow of the preparations for the tournament.
“Our preparations are at an advanced level both on and off the court. However, we are financially constrained to fulfil our desire to be part of the tournament as we are a self-funding club relying on individual subscriptions from the team members. We are appealing to the corporate world and well-wishers to come and assist,” he said.
“Last year at the African Club Championships Zone Six games held in Mozambique, the team managed to get a silver medal and we hope to build on that momentum to win the tournament.”
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