Ngqwele Dube, Sports Correspondent
THIRTY-FIVE teams from the Confederation of Volleyball (CAVB) Zone VI are set to take part in the 2017 Club Volleyball Championships scheduled for Bulawayo next month.
According to a circular released last Wednesday, to all Zone VI national federations, eight countries are set to send teams to the competition with 19 teams in the male section and 16 in the women’s category.
The circular from Zone VI secretary Khalid Cassam indicated that Angola and Namibia will not be sending teams while Zimbabwe will have the largest contingent with eight teams followed by Zambia which has registered seven. South Africa, Swaziland and Botswana registered four teams each while Lesotho and Mozambique would have three teams apiece and Malawi is sending only two sides.
The championships are set to run from 7 to 17 December and will be hosted at the Zimbabwe International Exhibition Centre and Khumalo Hockey Stadium which is earmarked to beach volleyball.
Zimbabwe Volleyball Association president Ringisai Mapondera said there had been delays in the confirmation of teams as some countries had missed the deadline of 26 October.
Local organising committee chairman, William Mazviro said there have been delays in securing sand for beach volleyball but they have already received the tartan mat that would be laid in making the courts.
“The tartan is already in Harare although we had experienced delays in getting it cleared as it came in through Mozambique. It was shipped by the International Federation of Volleyball (FIVB). We applied to Umguza Rural District Council for sand that would be used at the beach volleyball side but we are still to get a response but we are hopeful we will get a timely and positive response to ensure we set it up in time for the championships,” he said.
Eight teams that will represent Zimbabwe at the tourney include Bulawayo-based Spartans, Support Unit and UZ Wolves who are all sending male and female teams while Naba completes the male section and Harare City female side will also be part of the line-up.
Zimbabwe last played host to the tournament in 2006, which saw CBZ Jewels being crowned champions and Mapondera is hopeful the crown will remain again this time around. Support Unit and Naba have both come close to winning the regional competition with the former having succumbed 0-3 to Autoridade de Tributaria of Mozambique in Maputo in 2014 while Naba were edged 2-3 by Botswana’s Police VI in last year’s final.
Spartans, who are the only team from Bulawayo playing in the national league, would also be looking forward doing well in front of their home supporters.