26 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Beach Volleyball Players to Converge At Highfield Community Hall

BEACH Volleyball players will have an opportunity to showcase their talent when they converge at Highfield community Hall in the capital for the first ever series starting this morning. The series was introduced this year in an effort to keep players active instead of relying on regional tournaments.

So far seven men teams and six women have confirmed their participation and are expected to battle it out today.

Beach volleyball commissioner, Robert Njerere, said the series will go a long way in improving the standard of play and noted that they are going to meet with the teams to decide on how the series should be run.

"We hope the competition will be high. After the weekend we are going to engage all teams and agree on the sequence of play.

"We need input from the players because they are the ones who are playing.

"We have seven men and six women teams but we want to try and open up because we want to get as high participation as possible.

"However, those that join later will be playing more games to catch up with the other teams. Once the matches start this weekend it will generate more interest," said Njerere.

The introduction of the series has been welcomed by most of the players with Felistus Chakabveyo saying they are ready to compete.

"We have been practising since December and we played in a tournament last month. We are improving a lot because the way we are playing is very competitive.

"Some of the players have been playing competitive matches and we are liking the idea of bringing in guys from Bulawayo," said Chakabveyo.

Chakabveyo will team up with Lydia Mafuta today as they begin their campaign in the series.

Team manager for the pair of Richard Chidzana and Lucien Dzapasi from Manunure High School, Nomatter Mbiza, said the series was an opportunity for exposure to the young players who will compete in the men's competition.

"There are two young players from Manunure we are trying to give exposure by playing against experienced players.

"They have been training in Kwekwe but unfortunately they have not got the opportunity to compete in regional events.

"This is the first time they are going to meet the national senior players and I think it will help them a lot because for beach volleyball to do well we need to continue playing.

"I know it's going to be a bit of a challenge but it will motivate them, they will know what to expect when they compete in bigger events," said Mbiza.

Mbiza, who is also a national team player, said the future for the sport looks bright. I think this year will be a better year for us. We are happy because the problem we were facing since beach volleyball was introduced is that we only had a few people interested locally and would only get tough competition when we go outside the country.

"What we need is more competition and this is the way to go," said Mbiza.

The team from Bulawayo was expected in Harare late yesterday.

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