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15/10/2019 by Site-standaard in Geen categorie

Zimbabwe netball: After a breakthrough World Cup – what happens next?

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From Jess Anderson
BBC Sport
They were.
On the courtroom they impressed crowds with their flair, and off it they were charmed by them using their charisma – memorably dance their way to the BBC’s television coverage.
Zimbabwe’s Gems went – but at one stage it was not sure they would even be able to compete in Liverpool. They lacked the financial capital they needed to create the trip and trained without facilities or equipment.
But compete they failed – .
Having established themselves hold for netball from Zimbabwe?
Prior to the World Cup began, a few of the players of Zimbabwe had not played a proper netball court.
Goal shooter Joice Takaidza, that currently lives in Australia, claims that the centers inside her homeland are”the worst to train on”.
“At college we play sand and once you finish playing the dust will soon be on your throat,” she tells BBC World Service’s Sportshour programme.
“In the Premier League we play concrete grounds, which are extremely difficult and very dangerous also because they damage your knees”
Funding is the major problem – as is true in several sports.
As government minister Kirsty Coventry, an Olympic swimming gold medallist at 2004 and 2008, explains:”Two months before the tournament, the Zimbabwe Netball Association had not increased the money they had wanted to.
“We provided a lot of support for them to be present.”
Other funds appeals increased just #250 – a dip in the sea for the likes of England and Australia – but it left a gap .
Yet the issues didn’t finish there.
After the team arrived in the UK, head trainer Lloyd Makunde had to venture into Liverpool and spend #30 of his money on equipment such as cones and balls.
“We faced many challenges,” states Makunde.
“We watched teams like Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica when they were heating up, and we really did not have the equipment when we had been doing the practice.”
Victories over recognized countries such as Northern Barbados, Ireland and Sri Lanka at the World Cup showed the possibility for success in Zimbabwe.
But where will come from?
England goalkeeper Geva Mentor is one of those trying to help.
Mentor has assembled kit and gear to deliver to less established states since seeing the disparity between groups in the 2015 World Cup in Sydney.
“The gift is there,” she says. “It is just hoping to tap into this and be sure they know what they’ve got and they’ve obtained the support around them for every one of those girls to have the ability to thrive.
“One of the most difficult bits is really finding folks on the ground to disperse the kit and put it out to the rural communities where individuals really need it.”
Coventry – the minister for youth, sport arts and recreation – admits the Zimbabwean government has to put”different constructions” set up in sport, but states there are bigger priorities in the country.
“We’re going through a challenging time and you will find things within the country, inside the market, like medicines for individuals, like schooling for people… and sport is not up in that region as of right now.
“So for me to sit here and say we would love to build netball courts and soccer fields and swimming… it is completely unrealistic and I’d be letting down hundreds and thousands down.”
Coventry wants to collaborate with sports associations and partnerships to induce an improvement in centers.
“I think the athletes are proving that we have enormous talent and that’s not going off,” she says.
“So it is up to us to set up place the various structures that will allow for sports to be professional.”

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