Varsity Leopards women’s basketball team have withdrawn from participating in the International Basketball Federation (Fiba) Zone VI Club Championships which kick-off this Friday in Mozambique, after failing to secure funding for the trip.
REPORT BY MICHAEL MADYIRA
Cameo men and JBC women’s chances of taking part in the week-long tournament are also slim as both clubs are yet to raise money to travel.
With just five days to go before the championships begin, the clubs are still moving around with a begging bowel. Only Mutare-based Mercenaries, are hopeful of making it to Mozambique.
As of yesterday, the club was still locked in meetings with prospective sponsors and was expected to conclude a deal that could see them fulfilling the trip.
Leopards coach, Spencer Nyamadzawo, is upset at the club’s failure to fulfill the tournament.
“It is disheartening for the players, because we had gone to South Africa for preparations last month. But it is something beyond our control,” Nyamadzawo said.
But it is Cameo who could feel hard done after their preparations underlined their credentials when they beat Graquas de Boca and Ferroviário last month, winning the Swaziland Invitational Tournament to become the first Zimbabwean side to beat Mozambican teams.
Cameo public relations officer, Brian Muyengwa, said chances of securing US$15 000 were slowly fading. “Technically we are out of the competition unless a miracle happens. This week we continued preparing for the tournament because maybe we could get something,” Muyengwa said.
Basketball Union of Zimbabwe president, Addison Chiware, felt the corporate world had also battled to meet the club’s expenses.
“Economic challenges have left most companies unable to sponsor sporting activities. Some years ago, we never missed these tournaments,” said Chiware.
Over the recent years, Zimbabwean clubs have been struggling to raise money to participate in the regional competition.
Mbare Heats men were the only team that made it to the competition in South Africa last year, where they came last.