Invited to Australia
Netball Association of Malawi (Nam) has received a timely boost following the invitation of the Malawi National Netball Team to Australia for Asia/Pacific tournament ahead of the 2023 Netball World Cup slated for Cape Town, South Africa, in July.
The development comes as a relief to the Queens, who have been idle since the Africa Netball Championship, which was held in South Africa in August last year.
According to an invitation letter from the organisers, the tournament will attract some unnamed big teams and will be staged at Queensland.
“Malawi Netball has been invited to an international tournament in the Asia/Pacific region. Tournament will comprise six to eight teams with final entries and fixture to be finalised mid-March,” the letter reads.
Nam Vice President Chimwemwe Bakali said the association needs K190 million to take part in the tournament.
“From this amount, K157 million will cater for return air tickets which include flight connections,” he said.
Bakali said the tournament is important for the Queens to assess the squad before the World Cup, which will run from July 28 to August 6.
“It is expected to be a ranking tournament. It is an opportunity for the Queens to improve on points for World ranking purposes. It is also an opportunity to expose some additions to the squad following incorporation of new players in the national call up,” he said.
Currently, it is not known whether foreign country-based Queens’ quartet Mwawi Kumwenda-Mbwana, Joyce Mvula-Nyirenda, Towera Vinkhumbo and Caroline Mtukule-Ngwira will be included in the squad to Australia.
Bakali said depending on funds, the four will be part of the trip to Queensland.
He said Nam has asked for funding from the government through Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS).
MNCS Public Relations and Communications Officer Edgar Ntulumbwa asked for time before commenting.
Meanwhile, netball analyst Neffie Kam’mata has said Nam must secure funding to enable the Queens to travel to Australia.
“It will be a good yardstick for the team, especially if they are going to meet top ranked sides,” he said.
A 25-member Queens squad went into camp yesterday at Kamuzu University of Health Sciences Sports Complex.
Queens were drawn with England, Scotland and Barbados.