Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
TEN foreign basketball clubs are expected to take part in this year’s Bob 92 tournament starting on Friday in Harare.
The event is held to celebrate President Mugabe’s birthday and this year, the organisers are holding a basketball tournament for the clubs at senior level while for schools there will be a festival involving several disciplines.
They will be competing in soccer, basketball, volleyball, chess, netball and handball.
The three-day event running from Friday to Sunday will be held at various venues with Prince Edward being the command centre.
Other venues include City Sports Centre, Belvedere Teachers’ Technical College, University of Zimbabwe, Girls High School, Allan Wilson and Queen Elizabeth. The clubs from Zambia, Botswana and Swaziland are expected in the country tomorrow. The event is running under the theme: “Inspired by a Legend, empowering youth through sport.”
Bob 92 organising committee chairperson, Tendai “T-Buns” Zhakata, said they were looking forward to an exciting event.
“We are doing basketball at senior level. We have six teams that have confirmed from Zambia, two from Botswana and two from Swaziland.
“We have selected six best teams from Harare, two teams from Mutare, four teams from Bulawayo and two boys and two girls’ teams from Gweru.
“We are having several sporting disciplines at junior level, which is a festival. We have soccer, volleyball, basketball, handball and chess for both genders and also netball.
“We will take the top schools for each discipline from the 10 provinces, so we are looking at about 6 000 to 8 000 participants.
“This is our fourth year since we launched Bob 89 in 2013. I think the event is definitely growing, we started with one team from Zambia but now we have six teams coming from Zambia, two teams from Botswana and two from Swaziland.
“So we expect this year’s edition to be bigger and better.
“We thought at 92 it will be wise to involve everyone. We have launched the Bob label and all the winning teams will get kits and medals. We will also have individual prizes,” said Zhakata.
Zhakata said they will be using the event to select teams from each discipline for exchange programmes with other countries.
“This tournament will give us a platform to select teams from each participating discipline which we will brand as our Bob teams. We have exchange programmes we are looking at where will have tours and hopefully it goes through.
“We have already started working on this project. That is what we were aiming at when we started this event and hopefully this August we will have some tours.
“We are engaging clubs from Europe and if we can have two or three of our players playing in Europe, that’s the empowerment of youths we are talking about,” said Zhakata.
The winning teams at the Bob 92 event will get kits and medals and there are also prizes for individuals.
Reigning men’s champions JBC and the women’s top side, Vixens, are expected to defend their titles at the tournament.