The Zimbabwe senior women’s netball team, nicknamed the Gems left for Polokwane, South Africa by road this afternoon to participate at the 2018 edition of the Diamond Invitational Cup.

Zimbabwe are set to be part of the four countries who include neighbours Zambia, Uganda and hosts South Africa competing for honours in this year’s unique Diamond Invitational Netball Cup that runs from November 27 to December 02.

Team captain Perpetual Siyachitema expressed confidence with the side preparations saying the team is ready for battle.

“We are ready and prepared for battle, we are happy that will test our strength against SA who are the regional champions and Uganda whom we beat during the African qualifiers in Zambia early this year,” she said.

Head coach Lloyd Makunder said his plan to rest some senior players and infuse new and younger players should rejuvenate the side and help him asses his options for next year’s World Cup in Liverpool, England in August.

“The decision to rest some players and try new ones will give me more options as we are using the Diamond Cup as part of our preparations for next year’s World Cup. We do not want to be found wanting or leave any stone unturned in our quest and search for talent,” he said.

Zimbabwe Netball Association president Leticia Chipandu she was happy the team and the boost following new Minister of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation Kirsty Coventry’s visit to the ladies camp which lifted the team’s morale and inspired the ladies aim even higher after finishing runners up twice.

“We are aiming for gold, we managed to secure funding for the trip and looking forward to the new budget allocation for national teams being released to the ministry by Treasury, so that we can prepare thoroughly for next year World Cup,” she said.

The senior women’s team has 12 players while the national under 20 team is also in camp preparing for the region 5 tournament set for December 6 in Botswana.