Gendaball, a relatively new sport invented by a Malawian Francis Mwalabu a few years ago, is set to be officially launched before the end of the year.
The sport’s country coordinator Hamilton Kadyeremwana said the sport is gaining momentum and has been embraced by the communities.
“We have so far introduced the sport in places such as Bvumbwe in Thyolo, Kamba and Bangwe in Blantyre and the response has been overwhelming.
“After the launch, we plan to extend to the other districts. The inventor also plans to introduce the game in Ethiopia where he is currently based. We want it to be embraced as an international sport,” he said.
Kadyerawana said they have already met Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) in their quest to have the sport recognised and registered by the sports governing body.
“We recently had a fruitful meeting with Sports Council executive secretary George Jana and he assured us of their support.”
However, Kadyerawana said funding poses a challenge as they thrive to reach out to many communities.
On his part, Jana said: “It is a good sport that can be played by anybody and will equally provide entertainment to all. The council would definitely support its promotion, including polarising it to the rest of the world. It is easy to play and the equipment is also not expensive.”
Last week, the gendaball committee took the sport to Kachere Rehabilitation Centre in Blantyre where some patients sampled the sport.
Gendaball was invented in 2013 by Mwalabu. The name gendaball comes from two words:- “genda” which means “throw” in the Chichewa language, which is the most widely spoken language in Malawi and the English word “ball.”
It is played using a soft ball, slightly bigger than the size of a tennis ball, which is thrown directly onto a board, comprising 16 holes of varying sizes and point-values. The ball is thrown from a playing court comprising 10 throw stations, grouped at four distance levels from the board.
It is a game of target-shooting which is fiercely competitive, but gentle and smart in its play execution. Players compete by aiming the ball at holes of their choice and accumulating points based on the value of the targeted holes and the value of the distance levels.
The game has a total of 42 shots and can yield a maximum of 61 200 points.