K360m windfall

Privately-owned FDH Bank yesterday unveiled a K360 million three-year sponsorship to Netball Association of Malawi (NAM), with K300 million going directly to Malawi Queens, K45 million for a national netball cup and K15 million for NAM administration.

The development means the Queens will be getting K100 million annually for their activities and incentives while the netball cup and NAM administration will be getting K15 million and K5 million each year, respectively.

Mpinganjira (R) makes a symbolic cheque presentation to Matiya (L) and Mtukule-Ngwira

During the unveiling ceremony at Amaryllis Hotel in Blantyre, the bank’s acting managing director William Mpinganjira said they decided to finance netball because the Queens have continuously exhibited massive potential.

“We are keen on the introduction of the netball cup for two reasons; we need to develop talent and the Queens players should remain competitive as they inspire young talents,” he said.

“The allocation to NAM administration is meant to assist the association to become a more vibrant and structured institution as they are recruiting marketing and finance resource to drive netball growth in the country.”

However, Mpinganjira cautioned NAM against sponsorship mismanagement, saying: “If that happens expect immediate severance of our relationship.”

NAM president Khungekile Matiya thanked the bank for the “kind gesture” which she said would help the Queens take the top spot in Africa and break into the top-four rankings in the world. Currently, the national netball team is ranked third in Africa and seventh in the world.

“We will not disappoint, but ensure a win-win situation in this partnership. We will ensure every Queens player opens an account with the bank,” she said.

Queens captain Caroline Mtukule-Ngwira said they will do their best to make both the bank and the nation proud.

“If we managed to do well with meagre resources, what more with this windfall? This is really a big motivation to us,” she said.

The Queens have been only relying for government funding for their activities after Airtel Malawi decided not to renew three-year sponsorship.

In 2016, Queens also struck a multi-million sponsorship deal with the Rach Family Trust but all went up in smoke after the trust failed to fulfil its obligations. The Queens finished second at the recent African Netball Championship in South Africa and sixth at the Netball World Cup in England.

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