11 August 2018

Zambia: The Gems Off to Zambia

THE national senior netball side left for the joint African Championships and 2019 World Cup qualifier in Zambia yesterday, with captain Perpetua Siyachitema in a bullish mood they will qualify for the global event.

The championships get underway on Monday and are running until August 18.

They are also serving as the qualifying event for next year's World Cup. Seven countries - Botswana, Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe - are in the run for the African championship and the two remaining tickets to the 2019 World Cup. Malawi and South Africa have already qualified for the global showpiece because of their world rankings.

Speaking at a send-off function held at the Sport and Recreation Commission's offices, at the National Sports Stadium yesterday, Siyachitema was upbeat they will qualify for the World Cup.

And said they are grateful to Send Money Home (Pvt) Ltd, an agent of Mukuru, for their support.

"On behalf of the girls, I would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to our sponsor for the support and the love they are giving us.

"You don't know how it makes us feel as the girl child. We really feel recognised, we are so happy and we promise we are going to make you proud. We are definitely going to qualify," said Siyachitema.

Zimbabwe open their account with two games on Monday against Malawi and Botswana.

The Gems captain said qualifying for the World Cup will be an honour as she is now in the twilight of her career.

"To me it's very important because I have been thinking about retiring for a while now. So I think it's going to be a great honour if we are to qualify.

"I have never played at the World Cup. I really want to play at that stage, then I will just call it quits."

Team: Christine Kadandara, Felistas Kwangwa (vice captain), Rudo Karume, Alice Tewera, Perpetua Siyachitema (captain), Ndaiziveyi Madzikangava, Patricia Mauladi, Claris Kwaramba, Ursula Ndlovu, Pauline Jani, Mercy Mukwadi, Sharon Bwanali.

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