Zimbabwe: New Professional Netball League Launched

11 September 2021

PREMIER Netball League chief executive Freedom Tivagare has said they are going to ensure they promote professionalism and build strong clubs that will feed into the senior national team, the Gems.

The league, which was launched in Harare yesterday, has been endorsed by the local netball mother body, Zimbabwe Netball Association (ZINA).

So far 18 teams have confirmed their affiliation to the PNL.

The teams are Belvedere Technical Teachers' College, Blue Angels, Chinhoyi University of Technology, Correctional Service, Goldreef, Green Fuel, Harare District, Harare City Queens, Lupane State University, Masvingo City Stars, Masvingo Pirates, Mpandawana, Mutare City, Ngezi Platinum Queens, Platinum Queens, Rhinos, Waterfalls and University of Zimbabwe.

"The coming in of PNL, we are saying we need to build strong clubs that are able to offer competitive matches locally where we will pick our Gems from.

"We are also looking forward to making sure there is professionalism, there is accountability. In every sporting activity for you to be able to stand out, there is need for you to have a clear roadmap of what you want to achieve at the end of the day, we are bringing that as PNL."

Tivagare said they are still open for registration and interested clubs can join the newly-formed league.

The PNL will have a launch tournament on September 25 in Bulawayo, preceding the commencement of the league season, two weeks later.

"Because of Covid-19, we are actually working on a tight programme. Remember our season used to run from March until the end of the year because we want to avoid the rainy season.

"This is due to the reason that some of the courts are not indoors, so obviously we are going to run until next March where we will start a new season," said Tivagare.

They are still working on the fixtures to see how best they can arrange their games and ensure they meet all Covid-19 protocols for the safety of everyone involved.

Gems captain Felisitus Kwangwa who attended the launch said as players they are looking forward to competing.

"It is no secret that for you to play at the highest level and for international clubs you must be playing in a competitive league and from a high ranking country.

"This is why the launch of this league is important. It gives us an opportunity to be seen and to be heard as we do what we love most.

"All we ask as players is that the league creates a safe playing environment that is strict and follows all laid down Covid protocols as announced by our Government. This is the only way for us as players to be confident to play and be safe," said Kwangwa.

ZINA president Letitia Chipandu pledged their support for the new league.

ZINA will no longer be running the Super League as the PNL comes in as the professional league in the country.

"Today we see the birth of an elite netball league that will push for the right to play for every girl who wants a shot at playing for Zimbabwe at major international netball competitions.

"As you know only players affiliated to the Zimbabwe Netball Association can be selected at such competitions to represent their country, Zimbabwe, and this is why we are so excited to be here and endorse this launch, which has our full support," said Chipandu.

The ZINA president said they remain open to other leagues that want to be registered with the national association.

The PNL executive is made up of chairperson Thabiso Mokoena, vice-chairperson Loveday Magaya, secretary-general Liberty Mhizha, vice-secretary-general Sarudzai Chapo, treasurer Kuziwakwashe Mutuza, fixtures-secretary Tinashe Jonasi, organising secretary Rodwel Turusa, and committee members - Ruth Banda, Shorai Gopito and Menfree Tanyanyiwa.

Yeukai Muchenu will be responsible for public relations.

ZINA secretary-general Barbara Rice, organising secretary Alex Masimba and treasurer Petronilla Gonye also attended yesterday's launch.

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