Former Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) president Rosy Chinunda has lamented that she has bowed out of netball administration without seeing her dream of a modern netball court fulfilled.
Chinunda, who decided not to seek re-election during an elective assembly at Sunbird Nkopola on Saturday, expressed her sentiments after handing over the mantle to her successor, Khungekile Matiya.
During the previous elective assembly [in 2013], she said the main purpose of seeking re-election was to complete her programme of ensuring that the multi-million kwacha complex is erected, but her four-year tenure has expired with the facility remaining a pipe-dream.
“My wish was to see an indoor court constructed while I was still in office but, unfortunately, it has not happened. Nevertheless, I will die a happy person if I see such a court being constructed,” she said.
Chinunda said it pains her that during her three terms of office as NAM president, Malawi Queens have failed to host top overseas national teams such as England and Jamaica due to lack of an international standard netball court.
Despite the Queens being ranked second-best in Africa, and number six in the world, Malawi still use open and tattered netball courts that leave players and spectators baked under the scorching sun and drenched during rains.
The lobbying for an indoor netball court has been going on for several years, with little or no support. It has also not been considered in the 2017/18 National Budget, where K3.65 billion has been allocated to the Ministry of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development for sports infrastructure development.
Nevertheless, Chinunda expressed hope that the Rachel Family Trust, which recently promised to build a K2 billion netball complex, on top of providing K600 million five-year netball sponsorship, will turn her dream into reality.
On her part, Matiya said her committee will try its best to plead with government and the corporate world to assist the sport with better facilities.
Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) administration manager Henry Mereka said it is also their wish to see a netball complex coming into being.
“We have been, and we will continue, lobbying for such a facility to be constructed. It is really painful that despite making the country proud on the global stage, netball still lacks an indoor court,” he said. n