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Under-21 netball suffer blow

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Carol Bapu

Developmental netball all over the world suffered a huge setback after the International Netball Federation (INF) cancelled the Netball World Youth Cup.

Netball Association of Malawi (Nam) General Secretary Carol Bapu confirmed the development, describing it as a blow as the Malawi Under-21 National Netball Team was due to participate.

“We were making plans underground to prepare and compete at this event. This is certainly a blow because we use developmental competitions to nurture players for the future and senior side,” she said.

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Last year, Nam appointed Thunder Queens Coach Christina Mkwanda to head the Malawi Under-21 coaching panel, with Kukoma Diamonds and Queens skipper Caroline Mtukule-Ngwira as the deputy.

However, the cancellation might be a blessing in disguise as the junior Queens were yet to start preparations.

According to INF website, the world netball body announced its decision to cancel the Netball World Youth Cup 2021 after taking into consideration all the risks related to hosting the event during the on-going Covid pandemic with the safety and wellbeing of participants and the Fijian population at the heart of the decision.

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Netball World Youth Cup 2021 was set to take place in Fiji in June 2021.

In July 2020, INF announced that the event would be postponed to December 2021 due to the Covid Pandemic.

The Netball World Youth Cup is the pinnacle of netball for emerging players who are under 21 years of age and the INF has held an U21 international competition every four years since 1988.—Additional reporting www.netball.sport.

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