Abel Ndooka, Sports Reporter
ALL is set for the annual Nash Stella Tea Under-17 netball Tournament which will be staged at Thornhill High School in Gweru on Thursday and Friday.
A total of 12 teams will battle this week for top honors and the best performing players will be selected to be in the team which will represent the nation at Confederation of Schools Sports Associations of Southern Africa (Cossasa) games.
Organizers of tournament Tanganda Tea Company have pledged to continue sponsoring the tournament which has produced some members of the Gems who were representing the nation in Liverpool at the Vitality World Cup.
The total sponsorship package for the whole tournament stands at $260 000.
Tanganda Tea Company Operations Manager Farai Garai says they are excited to continue sponsoring the netball tournament and they cannot wait to see another Gem produced from Stella Tea netball finals.
“As a company we value how our sponsorship changes lives of others in society hence it keeps driving us as a company to sponsor events like these.
“The Stella Netball tournament has produced many Gems and I remember in 2014 when we hosted the tournament in Kariba that’s when Sharon Bwanali was unearthed, she was a goal machine and you could see that she was going places.
“Now she was one of the stars at the just ended world cup where she starred for the Gems,” he said.
National Association of School Heads (Nash) president Arthur Maphosa says they are looking forward to a great tournament and produce more Gems.
“We are looking forward to this tournament which has produced top netball players in this country.
“Some of the Gems players who went to Liverpool came through this tournament and we selected them and took them to Cossasa games. So this week we expecting all teams to be giving their all,” he said.
Defending champions Pamushana High are expected to fight to retain their crown but face battle from the likes of Mpompoma High who they battled in last year’s final which wasa staged in Bikita, Masvingo.
Teams (Matabeleland South), Mabhikwa (Matabeleland North,) Munene (Midlands), Parirewa (Mashonaland East), Mvurwi (Mashonaland Central), Mhangura (Mashonaland West), Mweyamutswene (Manicaland), Pamushana (Masvingo), Mpompoma (Bulawayo) and St Peter’s (Harare).