I am reliably informed that some mothers and grandmothers, I have always had huge amount of respect for putting their bodies on the line for the sake of the country’s netball pride, are in Birmingham.
I hear the purpose of these respectable ladies’ trip to the United Kingdom is to compete in the Commonwealth Games.
However, I am not interested in establishing more about our dear mums and grand mums’ sojourn because I am on a self-imposed boycott of this team that I have always loved for decades.
As a disclaimer, I repeat, I respect the members of the senior national netball team, the Queens, because I am convinced beyond doubt they have always punched way, way above their weights, taking at some stage the team to position five in the world and number one in Africa until somewhere in the year 2013 when the law of nature and concept of diminishing marginal returns took over.
You, therefore, cannot decide at some point in a year, to suddenly recall these women who are too busy taking care of themselves and their families to go and compete with elite athletes on a stage like the Commonwealth Games.
If we were a serious netball nation, we should have organized a testimonial match and honour our modern day netball legends such as Caroline Mtukule Ngwira, Laureen Ngwira, Thandi Galeta, Beatrice Mpinganjira, and Sindi Simtowe etc for having served this nation with distinction, breaking their sweat for sheer peanuts such as K5,000.
We should have all used such an occasion to boo at each other in shame for abusing the women by giving them such peanuts as a reward for their tangible achievements while overpaying perennial underachievers called Flames for virtually doing nothing.
My heart bleeds that we taught Jamaica, South Africa and Uganda netball some 10 years ago and now these countries’ netball teams are better than the Queens.
In this day and age, it is so unfortunate that we are still having to bank on the ladies whose legs are tired and who should have retired long time ago.
It so sad a situation that Malawi has failed to develop netball infrastructure, umpire and coaches the country is having to rely on the very same recycled personnel over and over again.
It saddens me, that Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) leaders and coach Peace Chawinga Kalua were before the Commonwealth Games at loggerheads over the inclusion of Sindi in the squad with the administrators option for selection of a younger player.
Here are elected NAM officials picking and proposing players on behalf of a national coach instead of technical persons. NAM officials have no business talking anything technical in a country which has many netball brains such as Mary Waya, Emmie Chongwe, Judith Chalusa and Edith Kaliati.
What this tells you and me is that there are no structures in NAM. It doesn’t matter who is at the helm at NAM, they all do the same things, running netball like a social sport that it has sadly become.
It is for this reason that I withdrew my support for the Queens. I am now on loan supporting chess because Chessam focuses on the youth including kindergarten players.
I will be back when I shall see teenagers/learners drafted in the Queens, university lecturers and secondary school teachers groomed as coaches and umpires. Sport is now so scientific you cannot have primary and secondary school dropouts running the show in any capacity. Bye!