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Men's netball team in Africa Champs debut

Zimbabwe Netball Association president Leticia Chipandu welcomed the move as a step in the right direction.

THE Zimbabwe senior men's netball team is primed to make its debut at this year's African Championships scheduled for Gaborone, Botswana, in November.

This will be the first time Africa Netball host a continental championship for males and will run simultaneously with the women’s games. The tournament is scheduled for November 26 to December 6.

Zimbabwe Netball Association president Leticia Chipandu welcomed the move as a step in the right direction.

"This is in line with inclusivity and balance along the gender line. The girls are playing soccer and now the boys are being accorded their platform in netball," Chipandu told NewsDay Sport.

"Our boys have been playing in their domestic netball league week in week out and they deserve to play in a competitive tournament such as the Africa Championships. These have also been our source of competitive opponents for our girls during various preparatory games.

Meanwhile, the Gems are on a mission to redeem their lost pride after finishing 13th at the 2023 Vitality Netball World Cup in Cape Town, South Africa, having finished number eight in the last World Cup in Liverpool, England.

Despite the poor showing, some of the Gems players were placed in the top individual brilliance in various playing positions in Cape Town.

Team captain Felistus Kwanga was number one on interceptions with 22, she was number three on deflections (24) behind Elizabeth Mushore (31) in position one. Mushore again settled for number one on rebounds (17), number five on interceptions (13) behind her captain while Nalani Makunde (161 goals) and Progress Moyo (152) finished fifth and seveth on goals and feeds, respectively.

"All was not lost, this was a learning curve for us. We had our captain being the top outstanding defender, Elizabeth was also amongst the top defenders. Nalan was on the top list of shooters, Progress was in the top list of midfielders," she said.

"So, you can see that we really had individual players who had outstanding performance in their individual playing positions which should have been utilised to our advantage.

"When you play and qualify to go to the World Cup, getting into the top 16 teams in the world, that's a win in itself. Competing and winning three games is also a great achievement. I want to say well done to the Gems. We keep working and improving on our shortfalls."

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