The Zimbabwe senior women’s netball team, the Gems, today left for Uganda where they will be locking horns with the She Cranes in friendly matches.

The Zimbabwe netball team has hogged the limelight in recent days with issues of ill-treatment dominating debate around the team.

The Gems, however, looked in high spirits on Friday (today) shortly before their departure for Uganda where they are set to play friendly encounters.

“We would just want to thank government for catering for our needs. We are excited to be going to Uganda for games which are important in helping the team prepare for the World Cup,” said the team’s captain Perpetua Siyachitema.

With the plight of the netball Gems becoming a major topic for discussion, chief director of sports promotion and development in the Ministry of Youth, Arts, Sport and Recreation Dr Benson Dube said government is doing all it can to cater for the Gems.

“Government is committed to helping the Zimbabwe netball team hence our role in catering for the trip to Uganda. We will also fund a trip to South Africa as well the Gems participation at the World Cup. We are not sure where all the noise is coming from as we are simply providing what netball said it required,” he said.

Zimbabwe has in recent weeks been involved in intense preparations as they gear up for the 2019 netball World Cup to be held in Liverpool.

Friendlies against Uganda are, however, expected to give the Gems much needed game time ahead of the global netball showpiece where they were placed in the same group as Sri-Lanka, Australia and Northern Ireland.