Malawians are pushing for adequate funding towards the national netball team following the team’s impressive performance at the recent Vitality Netball World Cup in England.
The Queens failed to break into the world’s top five but exhibited potential to walk an extra mile. The citizenry believes the national team can only do better if it is properly funded.
Having travelled to Liverpool, England without thorough preparations due to lack of funding, the pride of Malawi managed to finish 6th. They played six games, winning 4 and losing 2.
It was their final game against Jamaica, a fight for the 5th place, which broke Malawians’ hearts. The loss made the nation realise the importance of funds towards the only sport which sells Malawi.
One of the Malawians who lives in the United Kingdom and patronised the final game, musician Nic Thindwa, expressed heartbreak over the loss.
While Maggie Mkumpha wrote: “We do not have a right to neither cry nor complain when the Queens lose since it’s out of choice. The girls are the only impressive flag only to get craps and peanuts in return.”
Upon the Queen’s arrival from the tournament two days ago, it was revealed that they get meagre allowance. Their training allowance is pegged at K1500, and K20000 whenever they win. The flying girls have been pocketing such low amounts for a long time.
Speaking at the airport during the welcoming ceremony, minister of youth and sports Francis Phiso expressed dissatisfaction with the meagre bonuses. He promised to take action in a bid to motivate the girls to do better in future tournaments.
Netball is one of the poorly funded sports in Malawi. It is clear that stakeholders do not take the sport seriously as compared to other sporting disciplines like football. This is in most cases alluded to the fact that netball materials are cheap.