BEACH volleyball commissioner Robert Njerere has praised the local teams for putting up high level competition during the Unity Cup tournament at Highfield community hall over the weekend.
The two-day event saw seven men and six women teams fighting for honours in the two categories. The pair of Simbarashe Chidziva and Batsirai Mubaiwa beat Brighton Ngunzi and Nyashadzashe Takawira 2-1 in the men's final while top seeds Viola Muchaoona and Christine Manyanya defeated Felistus Chakabveyo and Lydia Mafuta 2-1 to win the women's title.
Njerere said although some of the teams failed to turn up the tournament was a success.
"The tournament went on well and the competition was high. We had long matches because of the level of competition displayed by the teams and it shows that we are improving. We are hoping that if we have more tournaments like this one our competitiveness will improve when we go outside the country for regional competitions.
"Some of the teams did not turn up due to other commitments but we are happy with the number of teams that came and they did well meaning that if we have similar events organised in time and in consultation we can get more teams. I think at this time of the year most of our players have more personal commitments," he said. Njerere said they are expecting to host another tournament this coming weekend at the same venue.
"We have actually planned on having a few more tournaments. The Zimbabwe Volleyball Association president, Fredrick Ndlovu graced the tournament and the secretary general Ringisai Mapondera has pledged to support the next event next weekend. We all agreed to have another tournament before the end of the year.
"The more tournaments we have the better our teams become. We are going to finalise on our calendar on Thursday and see if we can have tournaments after every two weeks up to February next year.
"This will help us because our continental tournaments are already coming up and we are scheduled to take part in the Zonal tournaments starting in February running up to April," said Njerere. Njerere who is also the national teams' coach said the local events will create a broader base for the selection of national teams for various competitions.
"We intend to have tournaments in other provinces and on the weekend of 19 and 20 February next year we have a tournament pencilled for Bindura. We had one team from Mashonaland Central in this tournament so we still have a lot of work to do, we need to try and get more provinces involved that is why we need to come up with a calendar.
"We are hoping to start with three provinces and Mashonaland Central is one of them. We want to try and rotate, moving from one province to another. As the national coach, it will help me on the selection of players.