Countdown Begins: Only 32 Days Until the 2023 Netball World Cup Kicks Off in Cape Town!

Shelly Guni

Today marks 32 days to go until the first whistle is blown at the 2023 Netball World Cup in Cape Town.

South Africa is excited to host the world and showcase its beauty. The countdown is firmly on with regular adverts on television.

With a history of hosting major international sports events including rugby, cricket, and football World Cups, there is no worry about the rainbow nation’s ability to deliver.

In all, 16 teams will contest the 2023 title. Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, England, South Africa, and Uganda qualified automatically as per their world ranking.

The other teams to make the grade include Tonga, Fiji, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Scotland, Wales, Trinidad and Tobago, and Barbados.

All of them are having intense preparations. Some of these countries are having trial games to fine-tune their players.

Back home, the Zimbabwe national netball team, Gems, is doing half-baked preparations largely due to the chronic lack of facilities.

More than a month ago, coach Ropafadzo Mutsauki summoned a team to prepare for the global showpiece.

The players gathered Girls High School, a facility that has a basic netball court.
While the facilities are half-decent, they are clearly a case of ‘half a loaf being better than having no bread at all’.

The team used to train at Stodart Netball Complex before an outcry from the team, they were allowed to shift to Girls High.

The Stodart Netball Complex was built ahead of the 1995 All Africa Games, has recently received a fresh coat of paint.

And before returning to GirlsHigh last earlier this month, the team used Prince Edward school
And none of the three aforementioned venues is anything that mirrors the kind of facilities the Gems will use when they arrive in South Africa.

You hope that the acclimatisation and cultural shock, for some of the new additions to the team, will last only a few hours.

However, there have been some development as the team is expected to move to the City Sports Centre for the remainder of their training.

This was confirmed by Maimba Mapuranga who is the Zimbabwe National Team Public Relations and sponsorship manager.

The City of Harare have approved that they will be our venue partner, we will be training at the Harare City Sports Centre which has got an indoor facility and wooden surface. Which are the same with the ones we are going to be playing in Cape Town.

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