Ngqwele Dube, Sports Correspondent
VOLLEYBALL has remained on the periphery of the sporting world with few partaking in the game.
It has been worse in small provinces with limited sporting infrastructure and qualified personnel to impart the necessary skills to players.
Matabeleland North has lacked any meaningful volleyball action over the years and this has been seen at school level with the province attaining the last two positions in the National Secondary School Heads Association annual competitions.
However, passion by a former volleyball player turned teacher has seen the spotlight coming back to the sport after Victoria Falls’ Mosi Oa Tunya High School came fourth in last year’s National Association of Secondary School Heads (Nash) contest.
This led to the Matabeleland North Volleyball Association deciding to come up with a national Level One coaching course to empower coaches and ensure they are able to adequately groom upcoming stars.
The three-day coaching course kicked off in Bulawayo at Khanyisile Sports Club on Wednesday with 19 participants.
The association’s vice-chairperson (technical), Lincorn Moyo said the prospective coaches were being taken through the basics of coaching with the aim of ensuring players get proper coaching.
The course is meant to prepare the coaches for training of beginners up to professional clubs that play volleyball.
“Schools already have sporting programmes hence we felt it would be best if teachers who are in charge of the sport but do not have these qualifications get basic training.
“While in previous years the province has come at number nine or 10 during Nash competitions, Mosi Oa Tunya did well, emerging fourth so we hope once their coach gets coaching knowledge and he applies it they can attain a higher position this year,” he said.
Moyo said they were hamstrung by lack of facilities to widen the participation of the sport in the province.
He said while some partake in the sport at school once they finish they dump it as there would be little activity around the sport.
“Netball and football are the most popular both during and after school hence volleyball remains on the periphery but we believe with qualified coaches we can take the sport far.
“We are happy we now have a tertiary institution in the form of Lupane State University. Unfortunately at the moment they are playing in Bulawayo because of lack of competition in the province.
“Colleges have more resources for sport but the sad thing is we only have LSU in Mat North so it will take some time before we can exploit that route.
The Mat North Volleyball Association is an ad hoc committee of the Zimbabwe Volleyball Association and is tasked with the expansion of the playing of volleyball in all its forms, in the province and promotes creation of lower levels of volleyball administration structures in the province.