Davison Bhunu, Sports Reporter
FORMER Zimbabwe Handball Federation president and now Zimbabwe Cestoball Association (ZICA) president Amon Madzvamuse has promised to take the sport to greater heights after his recent visit to India for an international workshop.
The international workshop was hosted in Bangalore from December 26-28 last year and Zimbabwe was invited to learn skills and techniques to upgrade cestoball in the Southern African regional countries.
Cestoball is a team sport that is very similar to that of netball, which originated in Argentina in the late 19th century.
The sport is very popular in Argentina and is mostly played by women at a school level.
The sport is played both indoors and outdoors, and it is very common to see games being played on basketball courts.
Two stand-alone net posts with baskets are stationed on the courts within the playing area.
Players are free to move behind the net posts. The ball used is similar to that of a handball.
A match is played between two 6-player teams in two 20-minute periods.
Two players each must always be present in both the back-court and the front-court at all times failing which results in a penalty.
The objective of the sport is to score as many goals as possible by shooting the ball through the hoop. Players are not allowed to run with the ball.
Balls have to be passed to move it up field.
Goals can be scored by shooting the ball from anywhere in the field.
A field goal, which is shot during regular play is awarded two points, and free throws carry one point.
The team with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.
And this exciting sport is now on its way to Zimbabwe, thanks to Madzvamuse who decided to bring it to this part of the world.
And Madzvamuse yesterday said they are at an advanced stage of introducing the sport as they have sponsors and people who understand the sporting discipline.
Madzvamuse also assured that unlike other sporting disciplines in the country that end up complaining about lack of sponsorship or lack of game-time, cestoball now has a strong connection to the international world.
He said ZICA will introduce the sport using schools and clubs across the country and they believe that by the end of 2020, the game will be known across the country.
The ZICA president is also calling on the nation as well as stakeholders to be well organised so as to achieve their intended goal.
“We are now at an advanced stage as we have the tools, sponsors and people who know cestoball therefore it’s up to us to just roll it.
“We have been sourcing for connections in the international world and we have also invitations of teams from the Asian world to come to Zimbabwe.
“We want our athletes to enjoy and play on a high stage and to achieve that we have to be well organised, this is not a year for us to sleep as we are not sleeping dogs.
“Also we have to work very hard for us to reach the standards of other cestoball-playing nations. The association is going to introduce the new sport in selected schools and clubs where different pupils and athletes from different provinces will also be allowed to participate.
“For now, for starters, we are going to choose strategic schools of excellence in different towns across the country where other schools can afford to travel and play the game and provide them with some equipment.
“We want our players to go and play in respective foreign leagues so we must give our athletes the chance to perform at the highest stage so that they get recognised on the world platform,” said Madzvamuse.