By Shelly Guni
PERPETUA Siyachitema, the captain of the senior national netball team has quit to pursue a coaching career.
Siyachitema announced her retirement in an interview with H-Metro yesterday at a local hotel where they were having a breakfast meeting with the Minister of Sport Youth Arts and Recreation, Honorable Kirsty Coventry and the Sports and Recreation commission director general Prince Mupazviriho.
Siyachitema has been playing netball for over two decades now.
She has also served for over 15 years in the national team and believes it was time for her to put an end to her playing career.
The 36-year-old made her debut appearance for the national team at the age of 19 and has since been a strong force to reckon with in the netball squad.
Last year, she helped the team qualify for their first ever World Cup tournament which was recently held.
The team went on to finish eighth making a record of the second best team tied up with Malawi to finish in the top eight in their debut appearance.
“I’m done playing netball. I now need to concentrate on my coaching career and the world cup was a major learning curve for me.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity that I had. I have learnt a lot form my whole netball playing career.
“And also the World Cup was a learning curve for me.
“I noticed that our game in Zimbabwe or Africa as a whole has no format
“We need to have a format. I need also to find a format that I’m going to personally introduce for the betterment of the game.”
Siyachitema went on to share some of her best moments she had at the world cup.
“My wish was to play New Zealand, Australia, Jamaica and England.
“I am glad that before I end this playing career I have managed to play three of these countries, unfortunately we couldn’t play England.
“And also for my country it was the best world cup, we finished in the top eight.
Asked on some of the lessons they have drawn from the world cup she said:
“We need to work on our endurance.
“As the tournament was coming to an end we were so exhausted, we were so drained. We never really knew that at a world cup level the matches are played every day.
“We need to work more on our fitness. The teams there were so physically fit. I think there is need for more gym facilities and also to scout for more tall players.” H-Metro