Sikhumbuzo Moyo, Senior Sports Reporter
THE Matabeleland North Netball League, an affiliate of the Rainbow Amateur Netball League faces imminent collapse as only three out of 10 teams have shown interest in participating in this year’s campaign.
The other teams have reportedly been hit hard by the skyrocketing transport costs worsened by the long distances travelled.
The sponsors, Glow Petroleum, are only taking care of umpires’ transport costs and allowances while clubs are supposed to meet their travel costs and other expenses.
Flying Stars, Shumba Stars and Buccaneers are the only teams that have shown interest in participating in this year’s campaign.
All regional leagues in the country are however in full swing with Central Region getting their league games underway at various venues in the Midlands province today. The national league is also well underway.
“Our Division One teams are finding it very difficult to travel from Point A to B. Some individuals and some business people who were sponsoring these teams have failed to do so due to the prevailing economic challenges.
“Issue of distances to be travelled, shortage and price of fuel have affected the teams. A team from Tsholotsho or Bubi has to travel to Victoria Falls and vice versa. This is a big challenge and without sponsorship teams cannot meet the expanses,” said the provincial chairperson Linah Mpala.
She said only three teams, Shumba Stars (Cross Dete), Buccaneers (Bubi) and Flying Stars (Vic Falls) have confirmed that they can play this year.
“The Victoria Falls-based team indicated that they can only travel by train so we are yet to devise a method for the three teams to meet at a neutral venue,” said Mpala.
Ranl Southern Region fixtures:
Freestars v Mawabeni (White City), Nust v Masiye Select, Maphisa Queens v Lethal Angels, Khami Queens v Gheto Queens (Khami), Fairbridge v Matshayimpunzi, Mthala v Sobukhazi (White City).