Netball great Mary Waya has become the second coach to press the panic button over the Malawi Netball Queens’ inactivity now stretching to three months.
Her remarks come a few days after another coach, Sam Kanyenda, also said he was worried with the Queens’ inactivity ahead of the African Netball Championship scheduled for Tanzania in June.
On Monday, Waya urged Netball Association of Malawi (Nam) to organise test matches regularly for the Queens, who last competed in the Fast5 Netball Series last November in Australia.
“It is true that there is growing interest in Malawian netballers from various foreign teams but those teams usually look for players that have been active, particularly those that feature in the national team regularly, so my plea to Nam is that they should get the team busy by organising more games for them,” she said.
She added that such test matches can help coaches to incorporate up-and-coming netballers in the team so that they can gain exposure.
Waya spoke about the Queens when asked about the progress of shooter, Joyce Mvula, who has signed for Manchester Thunder in the United Kingdom.
Waya said it was only through the Queens’ active participation in games that more netballers can follow the footsteps of Mvula and Australia-based Mwawi Kumwenda.
“I received a report from Manchester Thunder coach that Mvula has proved to be an asset. Her shooting ability is rated above 90 percent accurate,” she said.
Nam General Secretary, Carol Bapu, has since assured that the Queens will return to action soon. The question is how soon.
Netball analyst Chimwemwe Nyirenda has since called for a mindset change in the way netball is administered in Malawi.
“Malawi is ranked sixth in the world but if you look at the points we are getting closer to position seven. Very soon countries such as Fiji and Uganda will overtake us,” Nyirenda said.
“The issue is not about money but mindset. It is the way we approach issues. Change has to start with people at the top of Nam. You would expect them to be experts in netball. We need to run netball commercially and take netball to another level.”
He suggested that the forthcoming Nam elections could be the starting point for influencing change in the netball circles.
Reports suggest that the elections are scheduled for April 2017 but there is little information on who will be eligible to contest and where the elections will take place.
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