Government has decided to put national netball team coaches on payroll as one way of ensuring progress in the performance of the Malawi Queens, Nation on Sunday can reveal.
This development is unprecedented in the history of netball in the country because national netball coaches were under the responsibility of the Netball Association of Malawi (NAM).
In an interview in Lilongwe, Minister of Sports Grace Chiumia said the process has already begun to put the Queens’ technical team on government payroll.
“Just like with with national football team coaches, the netball technical staff will be employed by government. What we want from NAM is for them to advertise the posts to be in line with government procedures,” said Chiumia.
She, however, did not disclose what the head coach and the assistant will be getting or on what grade they will be they put on.
“That will depend on the contract that NAM will draft for the coaches. It is too early to disclose that, but once everything is finalised, we will be able to make it public,” said Chiumia.
Queens coach Peace Chawinga-Kalua told Nation on Sunday that progress cannot be made to transform the national netball team if coaches work on temporary basis as is the case now.
“There is need for long-term planning and that can be achieved if the coaches are given employment on a longer contract. This is not about me,” she said in an earlier interview.
NAM general secretary Carol Bapu thanked government for the decision.
“This is good news. We have been waiting for this. We are grateful that government has agreed to employ coaches. We have not been communicated to yet, but once we receive the official communication, we will advertise it as soon as possible,” said Bapu.
She said NAM executive has to sit down and agree on the type of contract to propose to government in terms of remunerations.
Bapu said it is high time the netball coaches started receiving same privileges as their male counterparts at the national football team.
She said once the coach start working on full-time basis it will be easy for him/her to develop a good plan or strategy and implement it.
“Having a full-time technical staff complete with a monthly package will have a great impact in the development of netball in the country since all her energy will be on building the national team,” she said.
Bapu said the situation now is that the coaches are hired on need basis.
“The arrangement, currently, is that we employ them temporarily just to fulfil immediate assignments. We pay them according to assignments. It is not a fixed job,” said Bapu.
She said the advertisement of the post will not in any way affect the current coaches.
“There will be no implications as the coaches we have now were appointed on temporary basis. These coaches work for clubs but they are also free to apply for the post once the advertisement is out,” said Bapu.
The Malawi Queens have struggled to break into the top four on global netball rankings.
The best they have finished is position five, but that too is history as they have surrendered the position to continental rivals South Africa.