67 and go­ing nowhere

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - SPORT - Brighton Zhawi

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.

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