Shingi Matibiri, Sports Reporter
Zimbabwean basketball referee Joyce Muchenu continues to scale dizzy heights in officiating after being nominated as one of the few African referees for the FIBA U17 Men’s World Cup currently on in Malaga, Spain.
Muchenu who scored a first by becoming the first FIBA female referee in Zimbabwe and the first FIBA Zone 6 referee is delighted be breaking barriers after getting her first men’s FIBA World Cup nomination having officiated in the women’s category in the last seven World Cup assignments.
“I’m happy and grateful to have been nominated for Malaga Spain FIBA U17 World Cup. This is the first FIBA Men’s World Cup that I have been nominated but this is my eighth World Cup in total,” Muchenu said.
“The level of play here is very high as compared to Zimbabwe basketball. I’m learning a lot from this and I’m taking a few notes to share with my colleagues back in Zimbabwe.”
“I’ve been officiating everyday since we started on 2nd July. I’ve done four games so far. Because of my officiating people have been inquisitive and wondering where this referee is from. After matches people have been asking me where I’m from and I’m proud to say I’m from Zimbabwe.”
Muchenu who has also officiated at the All Africa Games, Commonwealth Games, pre-Olympic Qualifiers said she hopes to inspire the next generation of Zimbabwean athletes and officials to aim higher in their careers through her achievements.
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“Putting long hours in what you are passionate about helps you to achieve your targets in life. For me I have always been passionate about what I do. I’m very passionate about officiating.”
“Setting goals everyday has helped me achieve what I have achieved. I breakdown my targets and starts accomplishing them one by one. So for me, I go from set targets for the day, to targets for the week, for the month and so on until I achieve them all.
“I also value feedback from different quarters, it helps me to grow. I feel that other sports persons can also achieve greatness if they put long hours into what they do. There are different things that attracts people to greatness but I think if you are really passionate about something, you will achieve what you want,” added Muchenu.
Muchenu has so far officiated four matches at the Spain U17 FIBA Men’s World Cup. Her first match was between the United States against Lebanon followed by the clash between Slovenia and the United States.
She then did the New Zealand and France match followed by the clash between Lebanon and Australia. Muchenu will officiate the match between Canada and Lebanon on Friday night.