The Herald (Harare)

31 December 2012

Zimbabwe: Beach Volleyball Tourney Postponed

IT was a disappointing weekend for beach volleyball teams as they failed to finish their pre-season tournament at Highfield Community Hall due to the rains. The tournament started on Saturday with nine men and six women teams taking part but they were disturbed with the rains and Beach volleyball commissioner Robert Njerere said they are now going to continue the event this coming weekend at the same venue.

"We have agreed that we will continue with the tournament next weekend because we could not finish the matches due to the rains. The weather has affected us so much and we cannot progress.

"We have nine men and six women teams. Most of them are from Harare, we did not get the teams we were expecting from Bulawayo and the other provinces. Maybe it was because of the unpredictable weather and it was going to be difficult for them to stay in Harare for two weeks.

"These are just preparatory tournaments there will be more tournaments. There will be bigger tournaments and more prizes," said Njerere.

The tournament was organised last week after successfully holding the inaugural Unity Cup tournament at the same venue and is part of preparations for upcoming events starting in January.

The beach volleyball commissioner said they are meeting today to finalise on their calendar that will see a number of tournaments being lined up for next year as they continue with the development of the sport that was introduced in the country last year.

"We were supposed to have had a meeting yesterday but we will now meet tomorrow. We need to finalise on our calendar so that when we start next year everyone will have the calendar.

"One of our tasks is to have beach volleyball being played in all provinces, have structures. We also need to have a good programme running here in Harare so that it becomes the right model for other provinces and they can follow suit.

"I am happy things are beginning to shape up because we were having problems in finding venues for our games but we now have a number of people who have shown interest in supporting us and in Bulawayo we are working with one of our players there to try and find courts.

"Once the facilities are there our work will be easier," said Njerere.

Njerere who is also the national team coach said he has noticed some improvement from the teams that are taking part in the tournaments they have been holding although there is still a lot to be done.

"I think there is a slight improvement, mainly it is because some of the teams do not have ideal facilities. The progress is there but it's not what we would have wanted, I feel there is still room for development.

"But now that there more courts that are being put in place it means our players will be able to train more wherever they are, unlike in the past when they would just wait to train when they were selected into the national team," said Njerere. Nyashadzashe Takawira and his partner Brighton Ngunzi are the favourites in the men's category while for the women's section the limelight will be on the pair of Lydia Mafuta and Felistus Chakabveyo when the tournament continue.

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