Ellina Mhlanga Senior Sports Reporter
GEMS captain, Felisitus Kwangwa, has urged local athletes to get vaccinated as various sport codes resume their activities and competitions.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak, sport has had to deal with the challenges and disruptions to the calendar.
The national netball team are returning to competition for the first time, in two years.
They regrouped last week to prepare for the Pent Series, and African Championships, set for next month in Namibia.
There are 17 players in camp, and they have been training at the Stodart Netball Complex in Mbare since last week.
Kwangwa said being vaccinated will go a long way in protecting the athletes and their loved ones from the virus.
“I will say Covid is real and it’s wise for you to get vaccinated so that we can be back on the court and on the pitch, in whichever sport, we play.
“So, I urge all the players or athletes out there, to get vaccinated.
“It’s the way to protect ourselves, from the dangerous virus, and also protecting our loved ones at home.
“Given that we are coming from different places, you never know what happens but, once you are vaccinated, I think that’s the safest way to protect ourselves.
“It’s very good, especially netball or all the contact sports, it’s quite difficult to try and protect ourselves. So, I think vaccination is the only way for us to go,” said Kwangwa. The Zimbabwe Netball Association have been encouraging their members to get vaccinated.
It appears they have had a positive response, with the Gems players called into camp from different clubs, all having been vaccinated.
The senior national netball team will take part at the Pent Series, from November 1 to 5, and the African Championships, from November 9 to 16.
Kwangwa is back at Surrey Storm, after signing another contract for the 2022 Vitality Netball Superleague season, in the UK.
“I can say I am very excited and it’s quite good to be given another chance to play there, which means I did my job very well to an extent that they thought of having me back, was a good decision,’’ she said.
“I am likely to leave soon, after the African Championships.”
She was supposed to leave earlier but will lead the senior side at the Pent Series, and the African Championships, first.
“The good thing is the coaches have given me the opportunity to do so (share her experience with her teammates),’’ she said.
“And, the girls have received everything that I have been sharing with them.
“I think working hand in hand, with the experience that I have got from that side, and what we already have, has made our job quite easier,” said Kwangwa.
Provisional Gems squad
Felisitus Kwangwa (Surrey Storm, UK), Claris Kwaramba (Platinum Queens), Sharon Bwanali (ZDF), Patricia Mauladi (ZDF), Queen Sigauke (Correctional Queens), Paidamoyo Tinoza (Glow Petroleum), Sinethemba Ncube (Goldreef Queens), Ursula Ndlovu (Glow Petroleum), Progress Moyo (Platinum Queens), Tafadzwa Matura (ZDF), Lynnette Tanhira (Platinum Queens), Nobukhosi Ndlovu (Goldreef), Priscilla Ndlovu (Platinum Queens), Kudakwashe Muchongwe (Correctional Queens), Nokuthula Mbano (Goldreef), Tatenda Dziva (Mixtures Queens, South Africa), Beatrice Busu (ZDF).