Brandon Moyo, Sports Reporter
The Hockey Association of Zimbabwe will be hosting the inaugural international development series starting from 8 to 10 August against Zambia at the SJET Astro Turf in Harare.
This will be the first ever international age group series between Zimbabwe and Zambia and the first competition in Zimbabwe involving another country post Covid-19 restrictions.
“We have missed out on this opportunity due to Covid-19 and we are excited to have this going,” said Executive Board Member of the Hockey Association of Zimbabwe, Cliff Kaseke.
Team Zimbabwe will have representations from all over the country and Bulawayo has players present in all age groups.
The squads were selected from inter-provincial tournaments thus all the provinces have representation in all the age groups and across genders.
“There is a significant amount of representation from across the country, Bulawayo included,” said Kaseke.
Zambia will be fielding U18, U16 and U14 boys and girls teams whilst Zimbabwe will be fielding two teams in each age group and each gender.
This will be done for the purpose of giving up-and-coming players an opportunity to have international exposure at an early age.
“It’s an opportunity to play a different standard of hockey and give them exposure earlier on in their careers,” said Kaseke.
There will also be invitational teams participating and these are Zimbabwe U13 boys’ and girls’ teams.
The teams, both genders, will be divided into two different sides and they will kick off the tournament playing against each other.
The Hockey Association of Zimbabwe also came up with an initiative to ensure no player is disadvantaged by getting individuals and corporates to sponsor a player or support a team.
“This is a huge step for hockey development in Zimbabwe,” said Carla Jones, a parent helping with administration.