The prayer that got Gems to World Cup

Veronica Gwaze
ZIMBABWE senior netball assistant coach Ropafadzo Mutsauki is valued for his technical astuteness as well as his spirituality in the Gems dressing room.

At the recently held African Championships in Lusaka, Zambia, the Gems’ assistant gaffer could be heard praying for the Gems during the wee hours of the morning.

Mutsauki is a member of the Johane Masowe apostolic sect and to him, the tournament which saw the Gems qualify for the 2019 World Cup finals in Liverpool, was a battle that needed both hard work and prayer.

“I would pray every day, devoting the entire tournament to God because from a spiritual perspective, I understand that prayer is the only weapon that can make dreams come true,” said Mutsauki, who is also the Under 21 national coach.

On the domestic scene, Mutsauki has transformed Super League side Harare City Netball Queens into a formidable side and it came as no surprise when the side provided five players to the national squad during the World Cup Qualifiers.

“I identify raw talent and nurture it,” said Mutsauki.

“However, of all the teams I have assembled in my career, Harare City has made me a proud man, especially because five of my players made it into the Gems squad.”

Mutsauki, who has 21 years of netball coaching experience, is a strict coach who doesn’t hesitate to bench even star players if they misbehave.

He believes coaching goes beyond teaching players what to do on the court, but extends to ‘the discipline room and further to the prayer room’.

Ahead of crucial games, Mutsauki is known for taking some of his willing players to church for prayers.

“To me, there is more to a player than playing on the pitch. lf we overlook the character molding and the spiritual side of a player, we are not going anywhere.

“Sport needs to take a holistic approach when dealing with players so that we are able to produce a total or a well-groomed player.

Discipline is key,” he emphasized.

Gems head coach Lloyd Makunde is full of Mutsauki praises.

“He is indeed an asset that I treasure much in my career because we are a clicking combination which has birthed a healthy working relationship.

“His experience has added value to the national colors and above all, he is a prayer warrior who has taught me that prayer conquers all,” said Makunde.

 

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