By Mutsa Sibanda
The hype that greeted all who entered Chemberi Stadium in Mashava whenever Gaths Mine Netball Club was in action is now confined to the history books.
This sprawling stadium with a specialized netball enclosure survived almost a decade after the mine ceased operations before economics struck and action stopped.
The ground is now just a ramshackle with little to remind the discerning eye that this was once an almost eternal home of countless national league championships.
Gaths Mine Netball Club buried every team that came this way during their peak in the 2000s, winning back to back league titles and producing quality players such as Nakas Phiri, Pauline Jani, and Joyce Takaidza.
The gangly Takaidza finished among the top 10 scorers at last year’s Netball World Cup finals in Liverpool, England and was the Zimbabwe Gems’ highest-rated player.
A ray of sunlight appears to have shone through the environs with the emergence of Platinum Queens, who are fighting to reclaim Gaths Mine’s lost status.
Platinum Queens are based in Zvishavane, less than 40kms from Mashava, and finished as runners-up in last season’s Rainbow Netball League.
Among their outstanding players were 20-year old defender Claris Kwaramba and goalie Tanaka Makusha who were also part of the history-making Gems squad that became the first senior female sporting team to qualify for a World Cup as well as Progress Moyo, a non-playing traveller.