First Lady Madam Monica Chakwera on Monday accepted to be the Patron of Malawi Netball Team , the Queens at a beautiful ceremony which took place at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe.
The acceptance follows requests from Nam President Abgail Sherrif which was echoed by Minister of Youth and Sports Richard Chimwendo Banda.
Madame Monica Chakwera hosted Malawi National Netball team to a breakfast after the team won the Confederation of Southern Africa Netball Association (COSANA) Tri – Nations Tournament.
The Queens emerged champions of the three day event which also featured Namibia and Zimbabwe held in Blantyre a week ago.
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 a 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 problem.
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 galant fight to put Malawi on the map.
“We struggle alot. We don’t get much support despite the achievements,” said Mtukule.
Added Mtukule: “Please help us, we don’t have our own bus.”
Mtukule then asked the first lady to be the Queen’s patron and help the team lobby for support.
Madam Chakwera has since accepted the honour to be the patron of the team.