English netball umpire at court


The on-going Rainbow Paints Southern Region Netball League (SRNL) has received a timely boost following the arrival of English umpire Sylvia Court.

Court, who is a volunteer working for Partners in Health in Neno District, has, so far, officiated the league’s three games at Blantyre Youth Centre.

The qualified umpire said she was excited to handle the local games.


“I am here in Malawi for six months and I am volunteering with Partners in Health. I am a qualified umpire in England and started umpiring about 10 years ago. I got B award five years ago.

“I came to know about this league through a contact and they linked me to Annie [Hanjahanja, SRNL General Secretary]. They assessed me and they ended up allocating me some games. So, whenever I am free, I will be available to handle the games,” she said.

Hanjahanja said Court’s arrival had eased their officiating woes.


“We have been hit by a shortage of umpires, and it is a blessing to have her. Otherwise, after our trial and investigations, which included checking her qualifications, we were convinced that she is a qualified umpire so we assigned her some games,” she said.

Serenity Stars netball team Chairperson, Dalitso Chinyama, said local umpires can learn from Court.

“This is a good move and we hope that she shares notes with local umpires,” she said.

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