Northern Region football and netball teams on Saturday emerged inaugural champions of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship Services (DICS) Sports Festival at Malawi Defence Force’s (MDF) Parachute Battalion in Salima.
The football side beat their Southern Region counterparts 7-6 on post-match penalties after a goalless draw in regulation time while the netball team took glory following a narrow 13-12 victory over Southern Region outfit.
“It feels great to be the first champions of the competition in both football and netball. I attribute this success to intensive training,” the department’s North sports coordinator DeMobly Banda, said.
“Prior to the event, we played against teams in Nkhata Bay and Karonga, which have similar weather as Salima to get acclimatised to lakeshore conditions.”
For being football champions, the North returned home K400 000 richer while runners-up, the South got K200 000. The Centre and the East received K125 000 and K75 000 for their respective third and fourth place finishes. The netball champions received K350 000 whereas runners-up the South and third-positioned Central Region earned K150 000 and K100 000, respectively.
In individual awards, South football team’s Ian Ng’anjo was named the player of the tournament while North’s Chimwemwe Chipwere emerged as top goal scorer with four goals. The best netball player award went to South’s Sellina Tembo.
DICS senior deputy director general Robert Pemba said they t introduced the sports festival, which culminated into an all-night party at Sunbird Livingstonia Beach, as a way of promoting interaction and physical fitness among immigration officers.
“As security officers, we have to be physically fit and know each other to share ideas about our profession. This social gathering, which demonstrates oneness as a family, is going to be an annual event and next year it will be bigger and better,” he said. n