The Netball Association of Zambia NAZ has revealed that six countries so far have confirmed participation in the Netball World Cup qualifiers tournament the country will host on 13th August, 2018, World no.7 Uganda, a regular participant among East African countries, world no.15 Zimbabwe and Botswana are the Southern African countries that have confirmed, including the host Zambia that is ranked 16th in the world. The other two countries are Tanzania and Kenya.
Netball Association of Zambia General Secretary Pritchard Ngoma says the netball national team is looking forward to competing and winning the tournament to book a spot in the 2019 Liverpool World Cup games in England.
Mr Ngoma says the ladies are training hard in camp despite having few logistical challenges. Speaking in an interview with News Diggers sports, Mr Ngoma notes that the netball national team has not had adequate finances to host international tournaments but believes the World Cup qualifiers games will be held successfully.
“NAZ has always had little funds to host international tournaments, let alone to renumerate players. Our ladies still sacrifice and represent our country positively,” said Mr Ngoma. He recalls that even when the netball national team travel for international tournaments under invitations, the association has always struggled to raise money for their allowances. Mr Ngoma has since commended the ladies’ commitment and sacrifice for the game.
And Netball national team captain Beauty Nakazwe has expressed confidence in her teammates. She said the ladies are training hard to ensure that the netball glory is kept in the country. Nakazwe who shuffles four positions in the national team also said that her teammates are well aware of the competition that other countries will showcase and are ready to double it and qualify to the World Cup.
“We will be playing against countries that play for big clubs in England, Australia and New Zealand but we will not be put off by their names, ” assures Nakazwe. The captain further called on netball fanatics to support the team during the tournament in August. “I hope people will come out in numbers to support us and also see how beautiful the game of netball is once one understands it, ” said Nakazwe.
The total number of competing countries is expected to be ten while countries that have already qualified to the World Cup based on ranking are free to participate to add colour to the tournament.