Disgusted nation slowly embraces men’s netball

28 Jan, 2023 - 00:01 0 Views
Disgusted nation slowly embraces men’s netball A men’s netball team’s training session

The Chronicle

Innocent Kurira, Sports Reporter

THIRTY ONE-year-old George Nkiwane will never forget one afternoon in 2016 when his eyes gazed at what to him was a shocking sight.

He was watching a netball match. That is not what shocked him. What shocked were the players on the court – they were all men. He says he couldn’t bear thirty minutes of the action. Seven years down the line, Nkiwane is warming up to the idea of men playing netball, otherwise viewed as a female sport.

He is not the only one in that bracket. There is resistance to men’s netball in a similar manner that women’s football suffered when it was first introduced in the country. It took more than a decade for women’s football to be embraced, but it still continues to be viewed in a lesser light compared to men’s football.

However, society is beginning to warm up to the idea of the men’s version of the game.
Maxwell Thomas Nyandoro who plays for Black Panthers and has played for the national team says society was not kind when he started playing.

“Well, at first society was so skeptical and at times we could be called names. But when you are doing something that you have passion for, you tend to ignore and focus on your goal until you achieve what you want.
“Now it’s no longer a problem. Society is now used to the fact that men can now play netball and can even play it better than women.

This is even seen by the invitations the males get to go and assist the Gems when they prepare for their assignments,” says Nyandoro.  He narrates how he started playing netball.
“It all started as a joke as l was coaching my ladies team and realised that there were many male coaches who were coaching. So I decided to form a male team using the male coaches with the view of trying to strengthen our female teams in Bulawayo,” says Nyandoro.

Maxwell Thomas Nyandoro

Another player who spoke to this publication on condition of anonymity concurred with Nyandoro that society had softened up to the idea of men’s netball.
“I started as a coach. So I would play and demonstrate and together with some other men’s coaches we just thought we could have a team and that is how we got playing. We would get ridiculed but some would support what we were trying to do.

In the end, you realise now people are beginning to understand there is nothing quire about men playing the game as it is but just a game,” he said.
Zimbabwe Netball Association Bulawayo chairperson Joseph Nkomazana believes men’s netball is making great strides.
“Netball used to be played by ladies only, but things have now changed. We are seeing a lot of men joining netball as players and as administrators.

Zimbabwe Netball Association Bulawayo chairperson Joseph Nkomazana

Here in Bulawayo, we have men’s teams and most of the players there were once called to play for our Zimbabwe national team.
“People are now getting used to seeing men playing netball. The stereotyping is dwindling honestly. I feel having men playing netball has helped demonstrate to society that sport is not limited to a single gender whatever sport code that is. I hope that in future we have more men’s teams,” said Nkomazana. [email protected]

Share This: