Malawi National Netball Team has resumed camping ahead of the PacificAus Netball Series in April in Australia and the 2023 Netball World Cup in South Africa this July.
The Queens’ camping at Kamuzu University of Health Sciences (Kuhes) Sports Complex in Blantyre comes a week after it was postponed due to financial problems as they need at least K190 million for their Australia trip and over K350 million for the Netball World Cup.
Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) vice-president Chimwemwe Bakali yesterday said they have resumed the
Queens’ preparations after government, through the Malawi National Council of Sports gave them an assurance of funding.
He said the national netball team will be in camp until their departure for Queensland, Australia on April 19 to take part in the eight-team series between April 24 and 29.
“We have been assured of support and the Queens have to continue their preparations. We are happy that things are now moving in the right direction,” Bakali said.
The latest camping, which started on Tuesday, is the third of the nine stages NAM set up for Queens’ tune-ups, which started with the national trials before the first camping in February.
Nevertheless, while acknowledging that the Queens have resumed training, Sports Council spokesperson Edgar Ntulumbwa yesterday declined to comment on the matter.
But last week, he said funding for the Queens was not readily available as they were waiting for allocations from the National Budget, which had not yet passed.
Ntulumbwa urged NAM and other associations to avoid their over reliance on government funding and find alternative means of complementing government support.
The camping resumption is a big relief to Queens coach Peace Chawinga-Kaluwa, who bemoaned that its suspension would heavily affect their preparations.
She explained that her main concern were the local-based players, who are expected to adapt to the Queens’ system of play before the World Cup.
Most of the teams that qualified for the Netball World Cup have been busy with test matches since December, but the Queens have been inactive since August last year when they competed in the Netball World Cup qualifying tournament in South Africa.
At the global showpiece, the world’s sixth-ranked Queens are in Group B alongside third-ranked England, 10th-placed Scotland and 14th-ranked Barbados.
Group A has Australia, Zimbabwe, Fiji and Tonga while hosts South Africa will take on Jamaica, Wales and Sri Lanka in Group C. Reigning champions New Zealand are in Group D alongside Uganda, Singapore and Trinidad & Tobago.