Collin Matiza Sports Editor
THE cobwebs are set to come off the Zimbabwe senior national men’s and women’s handball teams when they travel to Lusaka, Zambia, next month for the Zone Six qualifiers of the 2015 All-Africa Games.The 11th All-Africa Games are scheduled for September 4–19 in Brazzaville, Congo.
This edition marks the 50th anniversary of the Games, as well as their return to Brazzaville, which hosted the first edition in 1965.
And the Zimbabwe senior men’s and women’s national teams that have both been inactive for more than five years now have been invited to take part in the qualifying tournament for this continental sporting showcase in Lusaka from March 9-14.
Alphios Magiya, the secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Handball Federation, said yesterday that the Confederation of African Handball have chosen Zambia as the hosts of the Zone Six qualifying tournament for the 2015 All-Africa Games and the qualifiers are open to SADC member countries such as Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zimbabwe and the hosts Zambia.
“We (the ZHF) have been invited by the Confederation of African Handball to send our senior men’s and women’s national teams to the 2015 All-Africa Games Zone Six qualifiers in Zambia.
“This tournament will be staged at the Youth Olympic Centre in Lusaka from March 9-14 and the criteria for qualification for this year’s All-Africa Games is that one team from the Zone Six Region will qualify for the men’s category and two teams will represent the region in the women’s section.
“And given the shortest period that we have in preparing for this qualifying tournament in Lusaka, we, the ZHF, have put in place a resource mobilisation team that will be headed by Roland Patrick Mukombero of Manyame Airbase Handball Club who is also the interim chairperson of Harare Province,” Magiya said.
Mukombero will be assisted in running this team by the women’s national team manager Joana Takafuma and the team manager of the men’s national team Stewart Sanhewe of Bulawayo’s Shanana Handball Club and they have to raise US$26 450 that is needed to send a Zimbabwean delegation of 40 players and officials for the 2015 All-Africa Games Zone Six qualifiers in Lusaka next month.
“We are not only looking for cash but we also need something in kind like a bus that will take our 40-member delegation to Lusaka.
“We are also appealing to the well-wishers to donate the kit for the two teams as well as paying for the players’ allowances during their six-day stay in Lusaka. We are also going to pay for our food and accommodation during this qualifying tournament, so we really need a big helping hand from the people out there who are willing to come in and assist us in sending our men’s and women’s national teams to these important qualifiers,” Magiya said.