Central Region Netball Association (CRNA) is optimistic of registering 25 teams for the K8 million (about $11 600) Gateway Mall Netball Championship.
CRNA chairperson Fanuel Katengeza said 18 teams from Ntchisi, Ntcheu, Salima and Dowa have so far registered.
“Apart from these districts some teams have come from Lilongwe rural and urban areas. We are pleased with the response from the teams and we are hopeful that the number will rise,” he said.
Katengeza said the registration would close the week before the tournament kicks off on June 4 this year.
Recently, Lilongwe and Districts Netball League (LDNL) complained that most teams from rural areas have been absconding games because of transport problems as they do not have adequate finances.
Asked how they will address this challenge, Katengeza was optimistic that the teams will fulfil the fixtures because most of those registered are sponsored.
“We have teams that are supported by Malawi Defence Force [MDF] and the Ministry of Health. Some of them are Mchinji Medicals, Support Battalion and Dowa Police. We believe that such teams cannot have transport problems,” she said.
The tournament’s format is that teams that will compete in the preliminary round will tussle for four quarterfinal places where they will meet seeded sides Blue Eagles Sisters, Mafco Soldiers, Civo Nets and Green Sisters.
The winner of the tournament, which is sponsored by Mpico Holdings Limited, will take home K1.5 million (about $2 200). The games will be played on the Gateway Mall in Lilongwe. n