Malawi Sports Team, whose star members are netball Queens, joins other 18 African teams and 69 globally when marking the start of quadrennial 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland tonight.
During the opening ceremony, the Malawi team takes its turn in a Parade of Nations in front of 40 000 sports fans at Celtic Park where the Queen’s Baton Relay ends its journey throughout the former British colonies, including the Warm Heart of Africa.
The closing ceremony on August 3 stars Kylie Minogue.
The Malawi team, whose manager is John Kaputa, comprises runners, table tennis players and boxers. Hope for a medal is on the Queens who in their warm-up lost 40-60 to England on Sunday night.
Under the tutorship of legendary Mary Waya, the Queens are already a darling of the games and they have been referred to as ‘the ‘Harlem Globetrotters’ of the netball world because of their range of trickery and style of play.
“The squad is good and the game that we played on Sunday has given us a good run and we are ready for the games up coming,” Waya explained on Monday night.
Malawi made its debut in the Edinburgh 1970 Commonwealth Games, winning a boxing bronze medal. When the Games were held in Edinburgh in 1986, Malawi won two more Boxing medals. At the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games, Malawi took part in 10 different sports.
The games comprise aquatics, athletics, badminton, boxing, cycling, gymnastics, hockey, judo, lawn bowls, netball, rugby sevens, shooting, squash, table tennis, triathlon, weightlifting and wrestling. Lawn bowls, netball and squash are the non-Olympic sports; rugby sevens will make its Olympic debut in 2016.
NETBALL FAST FACTS:
Pool A: New Zealand (1), Jamaica (4), Malawi (5), Northern Ireland (11), St. Lucia (12), Scotland (13)
Pool B: Australia (2), England (3), South Africa (6), Wales (8), Trindad & Tobago (9), Barbados (10)
Other African teams are Botswana, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho , Mozambique and Mauritius.