ZHF seek to create more local competitions

Ellina Mhlanga

Senior Sports Reporter

AFTER successfully staging their Inter-provincial Championships recently in Harare, Zimbabwe Handball Federation are hoping to make the event a permanent feature on their calendar.

The tournament featured seven provinces – Mashonaland East, Mashonaland Central, Midlands, Mashonaland West, Masvingo, Manicaland and Harare.

ZHF secretary-general, Edson Chirowodza, said the tournament was going to be annual event and also include juniors.

“We actually have plans to have the inter-provincial for Under-14, Under-16, Under-18, Under-20 up to seniors, so that we have our categories of national teams from juniors to seniors. So, it’s going to be an annual event.”

The just-ended competition served as a platform for the selection of the men’s and women’s national teams.

ZHF are hoping to field teams at next year’s Africa Nations Cup scheduled for Egypt.

“Basically this is the first of its kind . . . So we intend to take part in Handball Africa Nations Cup, which is set for Egypt next year. The actual dates are not yet confirmed.

“So, in terms of beefing up or making sure that we have enhanced our senior men’s and women’s national teams’ selection, we decided to have each province come up with the best players to compete at the national championship.

“So already we have identified some new players through the coaches.

“We engaged the Confederation to show our interest in participating in the Nations Cup. So, they said we should just write to them officially, and then once that is done then we are assured that we will be taking part in the tournament,” said Chirowodza.

Some of the players that participated in the tournament such as Elvis Musarurwa said it is good to have more of such competitions, but also pointed for the need for sponsorship.

“It’s a very good tournament and it kind of put talent from different provinces at the same level of play and we get to see everyone in one competition. Everyone has got the chance to play and showcase his or her talent.

“It’s good to have more competitions like this, but I think what has been the stumbling block is the issue of maybe resources. Back then we used to have club championships and so forth, but it has been quiet for some time now.

“So, I think it’s the issue of resources and then we need to market our sport, we need to bring in sponsors, promoters . . . that way we can get to have more tournaments,” said Musarurwa.

Yanai Manyonga said there is a need to push more on the women’s side.

“We do have the quality, we do have the talent, but on the ladies’ side I think we are still lacking a little bit.

“We need more ladies to compete, find more challenging games for them to play. I think the men’s side is okay, competition is there. The ladies still need to improve, and have more games.

“As a senior player, I think each year we should have these competitions, and more game time…We need enough game time, each person deserves to play. We need to improve on that,” said Manyonga.

Harare were crowned champions for both men and women.

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