Ellina Mhlanga Sports Reporter
AS the Zimbabwe Netball Association prepares for the resumption of their activities, they have indicated they will be sending out a circular to their members on the regulations and guidelines that have to be followed for the safety of everyone involved.
ZINA executive met on Sunday in Harare to deliberate on how they will resume their activities as they are among the 32 national associations that have been approved so far.
Sport has not been spared from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and they will be returning under strict Covid-19 regulations.
ZINA president, Leticia Chipandu, said they will be sending out a circular this week on resumption of netball.
“We decided that we are sending a circular to the clubs on resumption of netball articulating in no uncertain terms the things to follow in line with the World Health Organisation and the Government through the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Sport.
“So we have written a pamphlet or an outline (on the guidelines and expectations) and everything has been spelt out whether be it training or competition. Everything has been spelt out on the procedure of getting to the venue, how they are supposed to behave during and after the game.
“So we expect each and every member of our community to abide with whatever is going to be sent out so that we protect our community that is our athletes, coaches and umpires. We want to make sure that when we play we don’t get infected by the coronavirus, we don’t spread it and we don’t get it.
“By Wednesday everything will be sent out but we had already started communicating with our community . . . As ZINA we expect them to behave accordingly. We are urging our community to follow the protocol,” said Chipandu.
The national association is urging all those involved in netball, including social leagues and clubs, to be registered in a move they hope will help to implement the regulations and guidelines and be in compliance with the expectations on the resumption of the sport.
“They can register through their provinces. We know we have leagues that are registered, we just go through their management so that information gets through to them. Then there are those who play either social or recreational, they need to register.
“They can come forward through their provinces so that they have access to correct information.
We are saying from the 20th of December teams can start preparing for games. Remember we have been inactive the whole year,” said Chipandu.
The local netball mother-body is targeting to have a tournament for the different leagues from the Super League to lower divisions in January.
For the national teams, there are a number of competitions lined-up next year.
Although most of the competitions will depend on the prevailing environment, the national association is hopeful the teams can fulfil their continental and regional assignments.
The senior national team has the Pent Series in May in Namibia, which is crucial in terms of maintaining and improving their world rankings.
This will be followed by the Africa Cup in June also scheduled for Namibia and an invitational tournament between August and September in Morocco, which is also important for rankings.
For the Young Gems there is the Confederation of Southern Africa Netball Associations (COSANA) Championships in August.
In October, the regional body is scheduled to host the Club Championships while the Under-18s have the Region Five Games in December.
There are some workshops lined-up for national teams’ coaches to be held by COSANA.
On the local scene, the National Youth Games remain key on the netball calendar as it presents a platform for talent identification and scouting of players.
Chipandu said with such a packed calendar they need to start mobilising resources to ensure they fulfil the fixtures and the programmes on the calendar.
Clubs would also need to find a way to cater for the expenses that will come with the resumption of the game under the current situation to ensure safety of everyone involved.