67 and going nowhere
ZIMBABWE national team netball coach Ledwine Dondo is 67 and will not quit until she sees more female coaches on the top table.
Of the 18 coaches in charge of Netball Super League teams, 12 are men. This situation has got Dondo worried.
“Time comes from God but deep inside I have a burning desire to see more female coaches at the highest level and will not walk away until I see an improvement,” she said.
Dondo, who started coaching the national team in 2000, highlighted that most females prefer being umpires instead of being coaches.
“At the international workshops we attend, we are always urged to encourage players to have an interest in coaching but we are realising that most prefer umpiring, maybe because it rewards better.
“However, I am happy that Perpetual Siyachitema and Clara Gumbo are some of the players that are taking interest in coaching. It’s a start but we need more,” she said.
Dondo has been described as passionate, committed and hardworking amongst many superlatives and it’s easy to understand why she is highly regarded.
The veteran gaffer missed the national team’s triumph at the Pent Series in Namibia a fortnight ago as she was attending her grandchild’s graduation in the UK.
However, Dondo followed every minute of the action and her family understood her divided attention “as they appreciate that I breathe netball.”
“I was far away, but very close to the team,” she said.
“I was getting updates and when we won I ululated. It turned out to be double celebration because my grandchild also made me proud.”
Lloyd Makunde was in charge of the team in Namibia and Dondo reckons the gaffer has a bright future ahead of him.
“He is a very good coach and he is developing well. In terms of male coaches, I don’t think we have a problem. We have several good male coaches in this country,” said Dondo.