‘Worth the effort’
Sports Council happy with Queens’ 2nd place finish
Malawi National Council of Sports board chairperson Sunduzwayo Madise has congratulated Malawi National Netball Team for finishing second at the Pacific/Aus Netball Series in Gold Coast City, Australia.
The Queens finished the six-day contest with a 54-41 loss to Tonga on Saturday to walk away with silver.
They returned home through Chileka International Airport in Blantyre Wednesday.
Madise said while winning gold would have been better, returning home with silver is still commendable.
“Silver is better than bronze. So we say congratulations to all the players and technical panel. We know that going forward, the Queens have to prepare well for this year’s Netball World Cup. Our target is to win but we need resources and planning. Of course the team’s recent performance has not been convincing but with thorough preparations, we can beat big guns like New Zealand, Australia and England.
“My call to Nam is that they must prepare the team and ensure that it is ready for the World Cup. The coach should concentrate on her job and bring out the best from her players. The resource headache should be left to us. We believe that with support from other stakeholders, the team will perform on the global stage,” he said.
Queens Coach Peace Chawinga Kaluwa said she will assemble the best team for the global contest.
“Of course the gap between us and the top five teams is quite huge. But I believe narrowing it is possible as long as we prepare well. The team we took to Australia was slightly different from the one that went to the Commonwealth Games.
“We did not have about seven players at the Pacific/Aus tournament. What I would suggest as the best way forward is investment into the team to narrow the gap with teams that are better than us,” Chawinga Kaluwa said.
She commended her charges for their performance in Australia.
“The players performed very well and it was a wonder performance in Australia considering that we did not have ample time for preparations. I am sure that if we had all our top players available, we would have won gold,” Chawinga Kaluwa said.
Another low moment for Malawi was when the team lost 50-46 to Zambia on Thursday after beating, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Fiji in earlier matches.
As a token of thanks for their performance in Australia, Sports Council hosted the team to a cocktail at Mount Soche Hotel in Blantyre.
Peter Fote is a Sports Journalist with huge experience in radio and Television reporting, production and presentation. He once worked with Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) and is currently working for Times Media Group.