Gems set to make history

The Gems are set to make history in July this year, when they become one of the teams to participate at the first ever Netball World Cup to be held in Africa.

This is the 16th Edition of the Netball World Cup and Cape Town, South Africa will host 16 netball nations from July 28-August 6.

The senior national netball team will be making a second successive appearance at the global showcase after their debut in 2019.

They finished a remarkably eighth position.

The Gems qualified for the prestigious event during last year’s qualifiers held in Pretoria South Africa after beating bitter rivals Zambia 59-41 in a decisive match held at the Rembrandt hall.

And with Netball World Cup fast approaching and nations across the globe are implementing their plans to arrive in South Africa in the best possible shape.

The preparations involved in getting a team ready for the World Cup are always complicated. In some cases, they can make or break a tournament. 

Zimbabwe is no exception.

The reality is that every tournament has its own peculiarities, be it the host nation, venues, training base or opponents.

The Gems concluded their first camp last month. The team is set to assemble for the second camp soon.

Foreign based players are also expected to be joining the other local players and preparations intensify.

Gems coach Ropafadzo Mutsauki and his coaching staff determines how many times a day players train, and what the training themes will be for each day or week leading into the big event.

The idea is to build on the success and lessons of the previous games to ensure they enter the tournament at the top of their game.

Nutrition and recovery are other important considerations and World Cups have been won and lost on these aspects of preparation alone.

All of these elements factor in to what every nation hopes will translate into a successful World Cup campaign

Gems Assistant coach Tatenda Shinya believes they have covered enough ground and are in the right direction.

“After the first camp we managed to see areas that we need to be improved on. The programs that we had during the first camp helped us a lot and it will add value come, World Cup.

“We are happy with the progress, we managed to do evaluation of the whole programe.

“We have lined up a number of strategies that we are working on,  and having new players joining camp won’t affect anythinh.  it’s actually easier to fit in a game plan already there, but our main focus is to deny the opponents to get a second pass and capitalize on the turn overs.”

Shinya said in terms of pressure they have mixed feelings as they have already covered a lot of the important stuff.

“Having friendlies is of paramount importance because that’s where you get the clear picture on how you play and it will be good to play the best teams so that we will get the much needed exposure.”

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