By SPORTS REPORTER
MINISTER of Sports Youth and Child Development Moses Mawere has challenged the Zambia netball team to win the 2018 Netball Africa cup of Nations kicking off on August 13 at the Olympic Youth Development Center (OYDC) in Lusaka.
Speaking after visiting the team at its training base in Lusaka yesterday, Mawere said that government through the leadership of President Edgar Lungu expected the team to triumph on home soil.
Mawere noted that the country could afford to lose the Netball Africa cup after having spent a lot of resources preparing for the successful hosting of the tournament.
“I came here basically to assure you that government is rallying behind you guys. We are very expectant as government and we are too expectant as citizens of this great nation.
“We don’t want you to be mere participants but compete to qualify for the World Cup to be held in Liverpool next year. It is our desire as government to see you qualifying for the prestigious world cup tournament. We have already set a pace as a country that whenever we host competitions of this magnitude at Africa level, we have to win it. We cannot afford to spend much resources and for someone to come from wherever they are coming from to come and defeat us,” Mawere said.
“We should have the spirit to conquer any team we are going to face. We know that there are certain teams which are doing well but we are not push overs,” he added.
Mawere commended corporate entities such as Zamtel, Zesco, and others for complementing government’s efforts in promoting the growth of all sports disciplines through the sponsorship of the Netball Africa Cup of Nations.
The minister noted that the support rendered by the corporate entities will go a long way in helping Zambia host a successful netball tournament.
Meanwhile Netball National team trainer Charles Zulu has hailed Mawere for visiting the ladies.
Zulu noted that the minister’s visit would motivate the team to perform better when the tournament starts next Monday.The Netball Africa Cup of Nations which will run from August 13 to 18 is expected to feature 200 athletes from ten African countries which include South Africa, Malawi, Lesotho, Kenya, Namibia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and hosts Zambia.
The best performing teams will qualify for the 2019 Netball World Cup to be held in England.