Senior Sports Reporter
THE Zimbabwe senior national netball team, the Gems, have been invited to the United Kingdom for friendly matches as part of their preparations for the Netball World Cup qualifiers in August.
The 2023 Netball World Cup qualifiers will be played in Pretoria, South Africa, in August.
Next year’s Netball World Cup will be hosted by Cape Town City in the neighbouring country.
And the Zimbabwe Netball Association have made it their top priority to qualify again for the global tournament, having made their debut appearance at the Vitality World Cup in Liverpool, England, in 2019.
As part of their preparations, they are expected to play at the COSANA Championships in Malawi from June 12 to 17.
The national team is expected to travel to Europe for high-level friendly matches against Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
ZINA president Leticia Chipandu said well-wishers are behind the trip.
“We are likely to go to Manchester for friendly games with Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
“This is also in preparation for the World Cup qualifiers. We have got well-wishers that are planning this,” said Chipandu.
Chipandu called for support from netball stakeholders as they bid for another World Cup place.
“We are also busy fundraising as ZINA, and we have been able to arrange camps for the senior and junior teams.
“We are doing this to augment the support we are getting from the Government.
“Our Government is very supportive of netball, which happens to be the girl child sport.
“We need the nation to rally behind the Gems as we prepare for these different assignments,” said Chipandu.