Grace Chingoma Senior Sports Reporter
SWITZERLAND Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Niculin Jager, has called on the private sector and other global handball playing nations to assist the Zimbabwe Handball to become a strong sporting brand.
Jager has taken a leading role in supporting the federation.
Yesterday, he handed over training kit, worth over US$15 000, which was sourced by a Swiss company for the national Under-21 men national team to use during the African Handball Cup of Nations early next year.
Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Minister, Kirsty Coventry, was the guest of honour at the reception.
Ambassadors from France, Germany, Spain and Portugal, the ZHF executive, national team players as well as officials from the Ministry and Sports Commission also graced the occasion.
“My embassy has taken a lead in supporting handball, it cannot do it alone,’’ said Jager.
“I openly appeal, on behalf of the Zimbabwe Handball Federation for assistance from the private sector and the leading handball nations such as France, Denmark, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Portugal and South Korea, if and when they can afford to join in and support the effort.
“Together, with the additional participation of the private sector, we will no doubt build a winning team for Zimbabwe, which will ultimately create a strong sporting brand and strengthen the recognition of the country around the world.”
The donation includes an assortment of training wear, match kits, playing shoes, back packs and balls.
“Handball is a unique sport and my embassy is excited to share this love for the game, with young Zimbabweans who may otherwise have not gotten the opportunity to enjoy it.
“My embassy responded to the request for support, to the handball national team’s 2024 Vision in 2019, since then we have had a worthwhile relationship, with the Zimbabwe Handball Federation, which is working closely with a Swiss coach for technical backstopping.
“For me, personally, it has become an absolute delight when various stakeholders such as the ones we have today join together to increase sport development, and participation.
“The new training kit donated by a Swiss company personifies the vitality and diversity of the Zimbabwe national colours which includes yellow, gold. green, red, and white.”
Jager added they were supporting local sport, through the Zimbabwe National Development Strategy 1.
“I sincerely hope that the new kit will be used well and maintained as a symbol of the friendship between Switzerland and Zimbabwe,’’ he said.
“And that the youthful players will take advantage of this opportunity and build successful careers around sport.”
Coventry said the impact of this donation will certainly be felt on the Zimbabwean sporting field.
Zimbabwe Handball Federation president Beauty Sarah Mtsambiwa welcomed the donation which she says will go a long way in the development of handball in the country.
“We are grateful to our coach Mr Rolf Haussener, who has played a major role towards the development of handball, in Zimbabwe.
“He has voluntarily offered technical services to our national teams and helped our coaches learn new trends of handball,” said Mtsambiwa.