IN an affirmation of the country’s status as a sporting destination, the Badminton Association of Zimbabwe will be hosting the All-Africa Schools Championships this December.
Counted as the biggest schools clash in the continent, the event is organised by the Badminton Confederation of Africa and the dates have been set for December 16 to 20 at the Harare International School.
This will be the second badminton tournament of a prime magnitude hosted in country after the All-Africa Under-15 Championships held from December 9 to 15.
Both events have put the Badminton Association of Zimbabwe on the world stage as the country also ups its preparations for the All-Africa Games and the Olympics qualifiers.
In the schools’ tournament prospectus sent to Zimpapers Sports Hub, it is detailed that participating players will be drawn from all countries that are fully affiliated to the Badminton Confederation of Africa.
The Badminton Association of Zimbabwe will soon release the names of schools and players set to fly the country’s flag at the tournament.
“Member Associations must send their intent of participation by November 10. All entries must be confirmed by the National Association. Badminton Confederation of Africa will refuse entries if players are on the current Badminton World Federation banned list,” reads the prospectus.
The leadership at Badminton Association of Zimbabwe is ecstatic the prospect of handling two continental tournaments.
The Association’s national vice-president in charge of events in the Badminton Association of Zimbabwe, Raffick Alfonso said they were geared for a busy month in December.
“Hosting the All-Africa Schools Championship is a mark of trust that has been given to us as the Badminton Association of Zimbabwe. We thank the Badminton Confederation of Africa for bringing the tournament to our doorstep. The preparations are ongoing as we want to make the event big,” said Alfonso.
He revealed the tournament will be of good use to all their development projects as they continue with outreach initiatives of introducing badminton in rural schools.
“This is a great opportunity for our development sides in schools. It affords us an opportunity to give our youngsters exposure,” he said.
Given the huge responsibility thrust on the Badminton Association of Zimbabwe, Alfonso said as they prepare, they would also want some assistance from the corporate sector.
“The Badminton Association of Zimbabwe has covered a lot of ground in preparing for the championships and we are appealing to corporates and other stakeholders to come on board so that as Zimbabwe we can successfully host this big event,” he said.
As a plus to the country’s badminton scene, the Badminton Association of Zimbabwe will also host the All-Africa Schools championships.