Dean Mukusa and Apronage Ngorima
Zimbabwe Volleyball Association (ZVA) General Secretary Kenneth Kondo has said the local teams are ready for the 5th stage of the Zone VI Beach Volleyball Tournament, which kicks off this weekend.
The tournament takes place from Friday to Sunday in Darwendale, with the participation of Mozambique, South Africa, Zambia, Botswana and Zimbabwe, among other southern African countries.
The tournament was started this year with the aim of developing beach volleyball in the region. The Confederation of African Volleyball Zone 6 (Southern Africa) committee has decided to organize a beach volleyball circuit with the participating countries hosting the games in turn.
The first leg took place in Mozambique; the second in South Africa, the third in Botswana while Zambia hosted the fourth.
“Preparations are going very well for the tournament, we have a local organizing committee led by Brian Manuel. Administratively, we have carried out all the necessary processes to ensure that we are within the legal limits of our government institutions, so we are ready to go,” Kondo said.
“Fifteen teams from Zimbabwe have confirmed their participation – six men’s teams and nine women’s teams. The gold medalists of the previous stage, the ZDF pair of Progress Gasa and Levenia Marange have already confirmed their participation. The silver medalists from the previous edition, Kimberly Dhlomo and Nyengeterai Guyo from Zambezi Amazons are also confirmed participants in the event. The Under-19 duo of Apronage Ngorima and AM Academy’s Dean Mukusa are also in the game. We expect at least five countries to participate in the three-day event.
Kondo said the contest was a good opportunity for young athletes to learn more skills and gain exposure.
“This event is essential for our athletes in Zimbabwe. We look forward to raising awareness in the corporate world by bringing the event closer to the local business community. It’s also an opportunity for players in our age group to rub shoulders with their seniors, a key move for their exposure and growth,” Kondo said.
“We need these kinds of competitions closer to home to create a legacy for our young people for the future. We have partnered with the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Management Authority and the event will take place in a recreational park that offers spectators more than the beach volleyball we come together for.
AM Volleyball Academy director and head coach Aaron Mutede also said the participating teams had been training since August and were ready to compete.
“Since Siavonga, Zambia, when we played in the second leg, the teams haven’t stopped training. They are currently in Chimhanda and today (yesterday) they will return to Darwendale beach to get used to the venue ahead of the competition,” Mutede said.
Mutede also applauded the two teams of Mukusa and Ngorima as well as Mutembedza and Mutede who have been part of the series since its inception and are the only school students.
“There is a need to have more youth development programs, to build beach volleyball courts close to the youth in the community,” he said.
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