Zimbabwe have been winning hearts at the ongoing Netball World Cup in Liverpool, England. Their performances have captivated many fans, even the neutral ones, and the sheer determination they are exuding is enough to move mountains. All they want is to win.
The Gems, as they are affectionately known, have displayed exhilarating performances. When one considers their background, their narrative becomes lovely all the more. They have defied odds to be where they are. Sporting in Zimbabwe is often plagued with issues like not paying players enough salaries and wages. But for the Gems, they looks beyond this.
They won their first match against Sri Lanka 79-47. They lost the second game to Australia 73-37 despite mounting a spirited challenge. Australia are the best ranked team in the world. They won their third game against Northern Ireland 51-49 in what was a close contest. This means that Zimbabwe have now qualified for the next round. Zimbabwe secured the second spot in Group A behind Australia who are the defending champions of the Netball World Cup.
South Africa, Malawi and Uganda have also qualified for the next round. South Africa have been playing impressively in the tournament. They secured the place for the next round after beating Jamaica 55-52. Malawi beat Barbados 65-41 to secure a place for the next round, and Uganda also qualified for the next phase after they beat Scotland 52-43.
The Netball World Cup began on 12 July and is ending on 21 July. It is in its 15th edition, being the premier competition in international netball. It is being hosted in Liverpool, England.
For Zimbabwe, this is the first time they have appeared at such a global stage. Their performances as debutantes of this tournament has won the hearts of many people.
Zimbabwe's Joice Takaidza is the tournament's leading scorer after the first preliminary stage, with 118 goals. And Zimbabwe's motto is simple - "We want to make our nation proud."
Header image credit - Three Men On A Boat