Harare - Zimbabwe netball team, the Gems, who did the nation proud at the just ended Virtual Netball World Cup, continue to reap rewards.
Last weekend, the girls, along with their technical team, were honoured by the country's First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa at a glittering ceremony.
They each received $20 000 from the first lady.
They also received some hefty allowances from the government.
Speaking on the sidelines of the event, outgoing captain Perpetual Siyachitema thanked both the First Lady and government for their generosity.
"Look, we have done the nation proud and to see such important people in society like the First Lady sacrificing her own resources for us is a humbling experience.
"We gave our all at the global stage on which we were competing for the first time in the history of the country.
"To be recognised in this way is what we cherish. It gives us the will to even fight for bigger honours. There is nothing more important in the life of athletes than getting recognised by higher authorities. We would like to thank the government and the First Lady for all they have done to us. We feel honoured and are inspired by the gesture," said Siyachitema.
The Gems finished eighth at the 16-team World Cup that was held in Liverpool, England, last month. And they continue to reap rewards for their phenomenal performance.
In the same vein, kobudo star Wilfred Mashaya was also honoured by the government following his achievements which saw him being entered in the London Hall of Fame recently.
Mashaya was honoured in Harare last week.
Home Affairs Minister Cain Mathema graced the occasion.
Mashaya, who became the first Zimbabwean to win the Regional Annual Sports Award (RASA), was also recognised in England as his name was entered in the London Hall of Fame.
Mashaya was ecstatic by the government honour.
"It always feels good to be recognised by the government.
"I am convinced that there is still a lot to come my way. I don't have to relax and rest on my laurels. This honour gives me the zeal to want to perform better in my next assignments. I am working hard in the background trying to perfect my kobudo skills.
"I have been humbled by the government's honour. It’s like I am living my dream," he said.