By Cedrick Nkungula
First Lady Madam Monica Chakwera on Monday hosted Malawi National Netball team, the Queens to a breakfast at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe after the team won the Confederation of Southern Africa Netball Association (COSANA) Tri – Nations Tourney.
The Queens emerged champion at the tournament which also featured Namibia and Zimbabwe held in Blantyre from 14 -16 June to 2022.
In her remarks, Madam Chakwera hailed the Queens, for displaying a spirit of greatness despite facing a myriad of challenges.
The first lady described Malawi Queens players as a true definition of role models.
She congratulated the team for their courage to keep going even when the going get’s tough.
“I can speak this morning without fear or favour that you are a team full of role models that range from players, coaches and all officials,” said the first lady.
She added: “Be assured that your achievement in the Tri- Nations Tournament has inspired others out there to dream big and aspire to become part of this winning team.”
Speaking earlier, Minister of Youth Development and Sports Richard Chimwendo Banda said his ministry has assembled a team to look into the challenges that are currently facing the Queens.
Chimwendo Banda promised that challenges facing the team will soon be a thing of the past.
He said government is doing everything possible to deal with challenges affecting the growth of netball in the country.
He cited the construction of a magnificent Griffin Saenda Netball Court in Lilongwe which will be ready by December this year as one way of minimizing the problems.
Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) President Abigail Sheriff said underfunding is one of their biggest challenge.
Sheriff added that lack of a national netball league is another stumbling block in their quest to unearth new talent.
“The Queens are ranked number 7 in the world but without a national netball league to help identify new talent. Madam, please fight for us to have a national netball league. Please accept to be our patron. We hope our problems are over following this meeting,” she emphasized.
Queens Captain Carol Mtukule expressed dismay that the Queens are never recognized despite their gallant fight to put Malawi on the map.
“We struggle alot. We don’t get much support despite the achievements. Please help us, we don’t have even our own bus.” said Mtukule.
Mtukule then asked the first lady to be the Queen’s patron and help the team lobby for support.
Madam Chakwera has since accepted to be the patron of the team.