Volleyball pre-season tournament begins
BULAWAYO Volleyball Association (BVA) vice-president Munyaradzi Brown has said people should expect entertaining matches in this year’s pre-season tournament to be held at Eveline Girls’ High School on Saturday.
Thirty teams have been invited to take part in the competition. “The tournament is going ahead as planned. People should expect fireworks in this year’s competition because all the teams are balanced.
“Players are in high spirits because some of them just took part in the National Youth Games,” said Brown
“We are expecting a tough and thrilling competition because we have invited teams from Gwanda and Gweru to make the tournament more competitive.”
He said more teams could take part as his association was still waiting for others to confirm participation.
Bulawayo teams such as Spartans and Railstars will be taking part in the men’s section, while women’s defending champions, ZRP Raiders and Spartans will play in the women’s category.
“The tournament will prepare teams for the provincial league, which will commence soon. We hope teams will take this opportunity to identify their strengths and weaknesses so that they will be ready when the season begins,” Brown said.
Last year’s competition had 12 men’s and seven women’s teams. Railstars, Highlanders and Spartans hosted the 2015 event, while UJ Powerhiters was the only team from Masvingo.
Cats, Eagles, Diamonds and Midlands State University (MSU) represented Gweru, while Jessie Mine, ZRP Gwanda Izihlobo represented Gwanda. — @khumzallen SPORT and Recreation Minister Makhosini Hlongwane has acknowledged that Team Zimbabwe failed the nation at the just ended Olympic Games and has attributed the poor showing at the global sporting showcase to lack of planning.
As Team Zimbabwe returned home empty-handed, Hlongwane noted that there had never been a real plan for the Games despite the Olympics coming after every four years.
There are also genuine concerns that Zimbabwe whose medals have dried up since Kirsty Coventry last fished some from the swimming events could also register the same failure at the 2020 Games in Tokyo if the trend of improper planning continues.
This is the second Olympics in a row where Zimbabwe have failed to win a single medal. It was a similar tale at the 2012 Games in London.
Hlongwane said the team’s performance is a reflection of how Zimbabwe as a country approached the Games.
“The performance of Team Zimbabwe in the recently ended edition of the Olympics Summer Games in Rio shows that we did not consider the Olympics as a fouryear cycle. In other words two years ago, three years, and four years ago there were no seeds that were planted to begin the process of preparing the athletes for Rio 2016.
“Olympics are a four-year cycle. What that means is we must always on time make sure that the preparations are done. For Rio when we are talking about the team that we were assembling beginning of this year, late last year it was already late.
“Work had already not been done previous to that, so I want that to be very clear,” said Hlongwane.
Since independence Zimbabwe have won eight medals at the Olympics. The first medal came from the women’s hockey team in 1980 in Moscow, Russia.
It then took Zimbabwe 24 years to add to that medal through swimming icon Coventry, who has won seven of the country’s medals.