…NAM says players should be grateful for playing in national team
Calls for Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) officials to disclose their daily allowances during the Netball World Cup have arisen following revelations that players were provided with only five thousand Malawi Kwacha as training allowances and faced insults and frustrations from officials for demanding better pay.
After the Netball World Cup in South Africa in August this year, one of Malawi Queens’ key players, Takondwa Lwazi, shocked the netball fraternity with an announcement that she had retired from the National Netball Team.
Lwazi, who emerged best centre court player with the most feeds at the 2023 Netball World Cup, revealed that her resignation was as a result of little rewards which she said does not match the effort, commitment and dedication she put forward to the national team.
The 31-year-old star further revealed that together with all other Queens players, she was getting five thousand Kwacha as training allowance per day, a package she said cannot sustain her living.
However, the Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) General Secretary Isaac Chimwala through the local media described the player’s decision to retire from the national team as unpatriotic claiming playing for the national team should not be for money.
“I am surprised that she can come in the open and say that. Our players should understand that playing for the national team is not for money but pride. Players with serious intention to grow use the national team platform to secure deals with international clubs that pay well. I find the sentiments behind her quitting from national team very unpatriotic,” said Chimwala.
Meanwhile, NAM has been under heavy criticism for disregarding the concerns raised and showing no interest to improve the welfare of the athletes in the country. People are calling on the netball governing body to as well disclose allowances for officials who were at the Netball World Cup in South Africa where the Queens finished on position seven.
A renowned activist Fryson Chodzi wrote on his Facebook page that sports officials want to blackmail Malawi sports men and women by using the term “unpatriotic” in order to get away from responsibility and further said sportsmen and women must not suffer abuse just because of revealing that they are receiving peanuts.
“Here are women and men who sweat it out to bring a smile in our faces when everything else doesn’t gives us anything to smile about, and someone thinks that K5000 per day is enough and the girls must be satisfied. Bullshit. The Chair of National Sports Council travels and receives $350 (K400,000) per day to go watch the very same athletes and he doesn’t find it wrong when the players are paid nothing just because they are lodged at a hotel and fed.
“IF anything, it’s the spots officials that needs to be Patriotic. I stand with Takondwa Lwazi and all athletes that demand better pay for fighting and lifting the Malawi flag. Munthu suudya (a person doesn’t) patriotism. Let them be paid. In fact, the daily allowances for spots women must be raised to K50,000 a day so that the level of motivation must be increased.
“And foreign travel allowances must be raised to not less than US$100 per day. If anything, to cut cost and raise money, let’s cut down on the number of officials traveling with national teams. In fact, the Chairperson for Sports Council can’t be travelling everywhere just because national teams are there. That’s unpatriotic for him to make more money yet the very same reason why he is in office people are struggling,” goes part of Chodzi’s Facebook post.
Recently, Queens interim coach Samuel Kanyenda told the local media that he still needs the services of Lwazi who is currently active at her club, Blue Eagles, and has since revealed plans to include her in the national team that will start preparations for the Fast Five Series taking place in November in Australia.