THE Handball Association of Zambia (HAZ) will tomorrow host the Best of 7’s tournament in preparations for the Junior Men’s Africa Cup and the Under-20 International Handball Federation (IHF) Zone VI competitions slated for September.
HAZ president Victor Banda in an interview yesterday said the Best of 7’s tourney was billed for Lusaka’s Olympic Youth Development Centre and has attracted 18 teams.
Banda said it was an important tournament as it would give the technical bench an opportunity to cage players in the provisional squad for the two international competitions.
“The Best of 7’s tournament will gather the best handball clubs in Lusaka. We have eight girls and 10 Boys’ teams competing in tomorrow’s event.
“This tournament is aimed at keeping the athletes in shape ahead of the junior men’s Africa Cup in Mali from September 2 to 9 while the U-20 IHF Zone VI which attracts both the girls and boys teams will be held in the same month from 22 to 29,” he said.
He said the players were scheduled to enter into residential camp in August for intensified training.
“We have the boys and girls’ team with 25 players each and they will be in residential camping next month. This is because most of the players are still school going children and we don’t want to disturb them,” he said.
Banda said the level of competition was stiff among the players father to book a slot in the final team.
He advised the players to remain focused and work hard to put up a good show at the forth coming tournament.
He said Zambia would face tough competition from Congo Brazzaville, South Africa and Angola, therefore need to put in their level best in training.
Banda appealed to the corporate institutions to assist the two teams materially and financially.
“I am earnestly appealing to the corporate world to support the two teams in any way possible. It is expensive to camp the players and the association doesn’t have enough resources,” he said.