The Sunday Mail
MAKE yourselves visible, this is the social media era! This was the message the visiting Howard University women’s volleyball team delivered to the Zimbabwe Volleyball Association.
The Americans said they had a “great” time in Zimbabwe but wondered why there is very little information about the local game on the internet.
“It’s very difficult to find Zimbabwean volleyball games online. I tried but there was little joy,” revealed Howard University’s head coach Shaun Kupferberg.
“They don’t post a lot online so there is not a lot of videos out there that can show us the level of volleyball or how they play and the style of play here in Zimbabwe or in Africa in general, their African Championships, I couldn’t find much online as well,” he said.
Kupferberg added that Zimbabwe needs to have a presence on social media in order to show the world that “there is volleyball being played here.”
“Zim was great, we met a lot of people and also got to spend time with a lot of kids, teaching the game …that was the highlight for us.
“But if you tell anyone about the game here, the next thing they will do is search for material online and I am afraid they will find very little information,” he said.
Commenting on their minimal social media activity, ZVA secretary general Tawanda Sithole said plans are underway to improve their act.
“We are trying to push for that, we used to have a permanent administrator but we do not have anyone at the moment. “There are plans to get an administrator who will also work on our social media. We have IT equipment secured so it’s a matter of finding the person,” he said.
Sithole hailed the visit by the Americans, adding that ZVA are keen to promote sports tourism.
“Having such a team in the country means that our players and coaches obviously get to learn a lot. However, the benefits go further than that.
“We are pleased that we contributed to the economy by bringing these guys along. These guys obviously swiped and made transactions.
“They also said they enjoyed their time in Zimbabwe and chances are they will go back to the States and share their experiences,” said Sithole.
During their five-day stay, the Howard University team played matches against Harare City, UZ Wolves and Support Unit.They also conducted coaching clinics at Aaron Mutede Volleyball Academy, Mufakose High 2 and Roosevelt School.
The visitor’s team manager Radovan Gacic hopes they will be more visits to Harare.
“Over the past 15, almost 20 years, American universities have been visiting all the continents except Africa,” he said.
“We are glad that Howard University decided that they want to try Africa as the first university from the first division.
“Our idea is to make this traditional. Maybe once a year at least someone will come here, make some donations and play some matches.”