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First Lady is Malawi Queens’ matron

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Richard Chimwendo Banda

First Lady Monica Chakwera hosted the Malawi National Netball Team to a breakfast at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe Monday following the senior team’s success in the just-ended Cosana Tri-Nation tournament.

There was more good news for the Queens after the First Lady accepted to be matron for the team.

This came after the players, through captain Caroline Mtukule-Ngwira, requested her to accept to be matron for the side.

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It was a rare moment for the players as the First Lady interacted with them for the first time. Indeed, it was a warm reception for the Queens.

In her remarks, Chakwera said, for many years, the Queens have demonstrated unconquerable courage to make Malawi proud.

“You have proved to be one of Africa’s biggest stars and you continue to shine. You are a team full of role models that range from players, coaches and officials,’’ Chakwera said.

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“Be assured that your achievement in the Tri- Nations Tournament has inspired others out there to dream big and aspire to become part of this winning team.”

On his part, Minister of Youth and Sports Richard Chimwendo Banda assured the Queens of full support.

“It is a motivation to the players for the First Lady to accept to be the matron. I am very confident that the First Lady, being the matron, will help raise more support for the team,” Chimwendo Banda said.

The Queens won the Cosana Tri-Nation Tournament with a 100 percent record, having won all the six matches, beating Namibia and Zimbabwe thrice each.

Netball Association of Malawi (Nam) President Abigail Shariff hailed the First Lady for hosting them.

“We are very excited that we have the matron now. This is a motivation to the players ahead of Commonwealth Games,” she said.

The team is expected to travel to South Africa this week to play friendlies against England and hosts South Africa.

After the matches, they will return home but will remain in camp in preparation for the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games later next month.

On her part, Mtukule- Ngwira appealed for more support.

“We face a lot of challenges as players. For example, we do not have a team bus and we get peanuts as allowances,” Mtukule Ngwira said.

Malawi is ranked seventh in the world and third in Africa, behind South Africa and Uganda.

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