The 2020 Blantyre and Districts Netball League season is hanging in balance as the sponsor, Rainbow Paints, is unsure of the state of preparedness of the leagues administrators and teams.
Rainbow Paints Marketing Executive, Jangale Chiosa-Mponda, said they have advised the league to engage the clubs to check if they will be able to comply with Covid-19 guidelines before sanctioning the commencement of the season.
“As you are aware sporting activities were on suspension due to Covid-19 pandemic. After the ban was lifted we met the administrators of the league and we explained to them that we are not sure if the teams and league officials will be able to comply with Covid-19 safety guidelines. We are talking about things like players undergoing Covid-19 test.
“Then we also have weather challenge. Basically we are remaining with two months [November and December] and most of the times league games are interrupted by rains due to lack of indoor facilities. As such we want the administrators to agree with the teams on the way forward,” she said.
The leagues General Secretary Annie Hanjahanja confirmed the development saying they have since requested Rainbow Paints to sponsor a two-day bonanza.
“It is true that we met the sponsor last week where they shared their concerns regarding various issues. Of course the company is committed to sponsor next year’s league. Nevertheless, we also asked the company to consider funding a two-day bonanza to get over a disappointing year,” she said.
In response, Chiosa said Rainbow Paints management was yet to decide whether it was viable to sponsor a bonanza.
“At first the league was a Fast-Five tournament running for few days so we need to look into that,” she said.
Last season Kukoma Diamonds retained the 2019 championship for the fourth successive time after narrowly beating rivals First Choice Tigresses 34-32 at Blantyre Youth Centre.
For emerging champions Diamonds got K1.2 million with Tigresses pocketing K700,000 while third-placed Tropical Queens received K350,000.
Teams from fourth position to 10 received consolation prizes.
In individual awards, Tigresses’ new catch, Tendai Masamba was voted best shooter with Hawa Chikoja of Tropical Queens winning the best centre award.
Diamonds skipper, Caroline Mtukule-Ngwira was named defender with Linda Kaponda picking the best umpire accolade.