The Herald (Harare)

26 October 2013

Zimbabwe: Handball Indaba At Girls High

ALL top Zimbabwean handball clubs are expected to meet at Harare's Girls High School this morning for a special meeting in which they will discuss, among other things, the end of the year tournament.

According to one of the meeting's organisers, Alan Mandeya, club handball will be getting in action for the last time this year and the Zimbabwe Handball Federation president, Amon Madzvamuse, wants the end of the year tournament to be the best ever competition to be held in this country.

"With this background all handball clubs are invited by the president to send a maximum of two representatives to a meeting on Saturday (today) at Harare's Girls High School. The meeting will start at 10am," Mandeya said.

Mandeya, who is one of the country's top handball coaches, said clubs such as Hardshots, Black Rhinos,TS Alliance, Bright Burning Stars, Black Panthers, JZ Moyo, Bindura Hawks, Big Elephants of Chitungwiza, Goromonzi Eagles and Bindura White Stars are expected to attend today's meeting.

"I mentioned these teams because they participated in the past tournament," Mandeya said.

At today's meeting, the clubs representatives will also talk about a number of issues related to the development of handball in this country and they include coming up with a calendar of events for next year.

They will also talk about player registration and licences.

The meeting will be chaired by the ZHF president, Madzvamuse, and in attendance will be members of his executive board. Madzvamuse confirmed yesterday that they will be holding a meeting today to "chart the way forward" in their efforts to develop handball in this country.

"In fact, the meeting started today (yesterday) and we will be holding another one tomorrow (today) at Girls High School where we will be meeting all the clubs representatives to chart the way forward for real handball to take off in Zimbabwe," Madzvamuse said.

The ZHF have so far failed to come up with a national league and Madzvamuse said he would like all the Zimbabwean clubs to register with his federation so that they can now have proper structures at national level "which will include a properly run national league".

Most top handball-playing countries in Africa like Egypt, Kenya, Mozambique and Nigeria have national leagues in place for both men and women, and Madzvamuse would like Zimbabwe to follow suit by creating a strong national league which is likely to be launched at the beginning of next year.

At the moment handball in Zimbabwe is mainly played at school level but when most of the schoolchildren leave school, they find no clubs to play for and this has seen the country being found wanting when it comes to picking up strong national teams for major international tournaments outside our borders.

But this will soon be a thing of the past with today's scheduled meeting at Girls High School in Harare expected to open a new chapter in the history Zimbabwean handball where a proper national league will be formed to accommodate all the top clubs from the country's 10 provinces.

Already, Mashonaland West Province have formed a board which has embarked on a major development programme which is seeing them conducting training courses for coaches and also coming up with community clubs. In fact, the Lilian Chiketa-led Mashonaland West Province Handball Association have of late been the most active arm of the ZHF and are leading the way in developing the sport in this country.

Chiketa is being ably assisted in running the handball affairs in Mashonaland West Province by the sport's veteran coach and administrator Alfos Mhondiwa who has a strong passion of grooming and nurturing young players.

The Mashonaland West Province Handball Association recently indicated that they would like to raise the number of trained technical personnel by 100 percent (from 120 to 240) by December 31, 2013.

They would also like to develop the game in the province by putting in place viable structures at the lowest level such as district and zonal boards and clubs.

The Mashonaland West Province Handball Association would also like to facilitate local and international exposure for the province's clubs and athletes in a bid to nurture identified talent. They have been able to send athletes to one of the world's biggest handball tournaments -- the Partille Cup in Gothenburg, Sweden -- twice in a row, in 2012 and this year, despite the absence of a viable board.

The Mash West sides that went to Sweden for the Partille Cup in 2012 and this year were a Zvimba District team and Mashrhino, a provincial Under-12 girls select side. Chiketa said her newly-elected board is currently in the process of putting in place a five-year development programme as well as short-term plans that will enable them to implement a number of development programmes in their province.

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