The Herald (Harare)

23 May 2013

Zimbabwe: Handball Stakeholders Meet in Bulawayo

AMON Madzvamuse, the president of the Zimbabwe Handball Federation, will tomorrow pay a "special visit" to Bulawayo where he will meet all the stakeholders of handball in his fight to promote the sport in the Matabeleland region.

The ZHF boss feels that the Matabeleland region is lagging behind when it comes to the development of handball at grassroots level and this has prompted his visit to Bulawayo tomorrow.

"I am going to visit Bulawayo on Friday (tomorrow) where I intend to meet all the stakeholders of handball from the Matabeleland region and they will come from Matabeleland North, South and Bulawayo Province, and the meeting will be held at Khumalo Primary School.

"This meeting will allow me to make an awareness of handball projects in the country and abroad that schools in the Matabeleland region must take part in.

"As ZHF, we've seen that we need to bridge the gap of the number of the handball-playing schools emanating from Matabeleland to equal the number of schools in the Mashonaland region," Madzvamuse said.

In fact, it has been a hive of activity for the ZHF since last week for they saw 35 participants taking part in a Level One refereeing course at Chishawasha Primary School in Mashonaland East and Madzvamuse also travelled to Mashonaland West where he met provincial players who will represent Zimbabwe at the Partille Cup tournament in Gothenburg, Sweden, at the beginning of July.

And now Madzvamuse is heading towards the Matabeleland region in his endeavour to resuscitate handball not only in provinces but in districts as well and tomorrow's meeting, facilitated by Tonderayi Makanyanga, has set the stage which will see the beauty of handball in Bulawayo, as the hosting province, Matabeleland South, has handball-playing schools such as JZ Moyo High School, who are the national Under-20 champions in the boys' section, and Shangani High School, who are the national girls' Under-20 champions.

"In Bulawayo, we have Milton and Lobengula high schools but we need to have or encourage a lot of schools to play handball, especially those in the rural areas and those that are not boarding schools.

"We are also going to encourage people from the Matabeleland region to form community teams or clubs because in Bulawayo we only have one club, Black Panthers. So we want to have clubs from as far as Tsholotsho and Binga.

"And as the ZHF president, I'm not happy or impressed with the international participation of these schools from the Matabeleland region because, for example, we don't have any school from that region that is travelling with us to Sweden in July to take part in the Partille Cup.

"The message I will be sending to them at Friday's meeting is that they are also part of us and must feel the joy that other provinces are feeling of travelling outside the country to take part in major international tournaments such as the Partille Cup," Madzvamuse said.

The ZHF are looking at sending 126 athletes and officials to this year's Partille Cup tournament which is set to run from July 1 to 7 in Gothenburg, Sweden.

The Partille Cup is a youth team handball competition held in Gothenburg and is open for both boys and girls aged 10 to 21 years.

It has been held annually since 1970 and organised by a Swede handball club, IK Savehof from Partille.

In fact, the Partille Cup is the world's largest handball tournament for young people and during one week every year, nearly 19 000 participants from 50 countries descend on Gothenburg to participate in the cup.

And Zimbabwe have once again been invited to compete in this year's Partille Cup where they are likely to be represented by more than five teams from six schools -- Harare's Girls' High School, Morgan High School, Kwekwe High School, Howard High School, Houghton Primary School and Chishawasha Primary School.

These six schools have already confirmed their participation at this year's Partille Cup through the ZHF and the federation's secretary-general, Alphois Magiya, recently said that this will see Zimbabwe being represented by about 126 athletes and officials at this big junior handball tournament in Gothenburg.

This will be the largest contingent of athletes and officials from a Zimbabwean national sport association to represent Zimbabwe at a single major international sporting event since the attainment of independence in April 1980.

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