ZIMBABWE Tourism Authority (ZTA) acting chief executive Rita Likukuma says the Zimbabwe national netball team the GEMS are tourism ambassadors and her organisation is delighted to be associated with them.
The Gems qualified for the Netball World Cup which will be held in Liverpool England from the 12thto the 21st of July.
The qualification is for the first time in the history of the team and came courtesy of their good showing in their qualifying games where they outclassed almost all of their opponents.
In support of the girl child and as a way of promoting sports tourism, ZTA donated trainers (sneakers), warm up t-shirts, drinking water bottles, and kit bags for 20 players.
Speaking during the handover ceremony at Stoddart Hall Netball Complex training grounds, Likukuma said sports tourism is one of the untapped tourism possibilities in Africa and also took the opportunity to wish the GEMS a good outing in Liverpool.
“There is a growing interest and prioritization of the tourism industry across Africa, because countries have realized the immense, yet untapped tourism possibilities that exist on the continent.
“Sports tourism is one of them and we as ZTA are delighted to be associated with the Gems and they are Tourism Ambassadors, who will talk about Zimbabwe.
“We wish them luck as they represent Zimbabwe and hope they will bring the World Cup home,” she said.
Zimbabwe, who will be making their first appearance at the World Cup, is in a tough group where they will face champions Australia, Northern Ireland and Sri Lanka in Group A.
Speaking after the donation from ZTA, GEMS vice-captain Felisitus Kwangwa applauded the tourism authority for its kind gesture adding that it will go a long way in motivating them during the games in Liverpool.
“We thank Mrs Rita Likukuma and her team for their generosity and assure them that they will not be disappointed.
“The Gems will represent Zimbabwe well and your sponsorship of trainers, kit bags, drinking water bottles and warm up t-shirts are most appreciated by the team,” she said.