The past few weeks have witnessed encouraging developments in the sporting fraternity where the high flying women’s netball national team did the country proud by qualifying for the prestigious World Cup to be staged in South Africa next year.

This is the second time that the Gems, as they are affectionately known have qualified for the netball World Cup after their maiden appearance in Liverpool, England in 2019.

The World Cup appearance resulted in the Gems captain Felisitus Kwangwa being signed by top English club, Surrey Storm and winning a number of individual awards at the club during the previuos and current season.

Very few people knew about the Netball World Cup until our Gems qualified for the tournament in England in 2019 and this has propelled the status of the sport in the country to one of the most discussed, watched and supported sports in the country.

The Government has also chipped in by giving our girls something after the 2023 qualification recently, though small as compared to what the likes of boxing champion Charles Manyuchi received from the same Government after conquering the world, it goes a long way in motivating them.

It is a worthy recognition.

It is against this background that we urge the powers that be to keep their eyes on the ball and not lose momentum.

The sport should have a strong junior youth policy so that when the current crop of players call it time there will be a smooth succession unlike tennis which has almost disappeared with the Black family.

The business community and Government should not only wait for the World Cup qualifications in order to be seen to be doing something, instead they should be involved at every level of the game so that the sport does not die with the current national team when they retire one day as is expected sooner or later.

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