The Hockey Association of Zimbabwe has made their final selection of an eighteen woman squad to represent the country at the U21 Hockey Junior World Cup to take place in Santiago, Chile from 24 November to 4 December 2016. Starting with an invited group of 32 local and foreign-based players, the association held a four day selection camp this past weekend (16-19 June 2016) to trim down the team from 32 to 18 traveling players and six non-traveling reserves.
The final team includes Chisipite Senior School player Cheryl Dzapasi, Gateway’s forward Kelly Diplock and two students from Peterhouse Girls – Meghan Shaxson and Simone Marchussen. More current high school students were named as non-traveling reserves.
Training as a team will be challenging, as the majority of the chosen players are based outside of the country, attending universities in South Africa, Australia, England and the United States. Among them are three players on scholarships for hockey and academics in the United States – goalkeeper Jordyn Clipstone who plays for Villanova University, Fariyah Omarshah who attends Sienna College and Shannon Hart who is studying at Kenyon College.
Zimbabwe’s U21 side qualified for the World Cup berth in a dramatic 2-1 victory over hosts Namibia on 26 March. The last time Zimbabwe qualified for the Junior World Cup for hockey was in 2005, ironically the same year that Chile last hosted the tournament.