The Confederation of Africa Netball Associations (Cosana) Cup is set to return this year after a 12-year absence due to, among others, financial constraints and disorganisation.
The Cosana Championship, once a revered tournament that was competed for by southern Africa countries, was last held in Durban, South Africa in 2009. Malawi won the last edition.
It was also used as a platform for the Queens to prepare for major tournaments such as the World Cup, Commonwealth Games, Africa Netball Championship and Fast5 World Netball Series..
Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) immediate-past general secretary (GS) Carol Bapu confirmed in an interview yesterday that one of the communications they got before bowing out of office related to the revival of the tournament.
“It was also among the key issues when we made the handovers to the new executive committee,” she said.
Bapu said the Council of Southern Africa Netball Associations (Cosana) tournaments have been revived following the election of a vibrant new executive committee headed by Letticia Chipandu, who is also president of the Zimbabwe Netball Association.
“The plans are that it should be held this year subject to the Covid-19 pandemic situation,” she said.
Bapu said the other key handover issues were preparations for Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games and a follow-up with government on the employment of a permanent national netball coach.
“The handovers also included plans to introduce the new committee to FDH Bank, who are the official sponsors of the Queens as well as a national tournament.”
The former NAM GS further said the upcoming events may include the Africa Netball Championship which was cancelled last year due to Covid-19.
“We also briefed them about the communique we got from International Netball Federation [INF] on the adoption of men’s netball.
“INF has introduced men’s netball and they are encouraging member associations to embrace and promote it,” she said.
NAM’s new GS Isaac Chimwala confirmed the handover process, saying they have now officially started working.
He said: “The focus will be the end product and that is the national team because progress can only be shown with the performance of the Queens.
“For us to move forward, the team needs to play games and it needs to have quality players. It’s going to be a process and we hope to get the necessary support that we require.”
Queens captain Carol Mtukule-Ngwira applauded the return of the Cosana Cup, saying it helped expose talent.
She said: “This is a tournament that shaped our netball. All the players who shone for the Queens, including myself, played in this tournament.
“We were able to prepare for major tournaments by gauging ourselves against South Africa and, therefore, its importance cannot be overemphasised.”
The Queens and South Africa’s Spar Proteas dominated the regional event since its inception.