Vol­ley­ball pre-sea­son tour­na­ment be­gins

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport - Allen Khu­malo

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.

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