Mpico Limited and Central Region Netball Association (CRNA) have unveiled the K8 million (about $11 465) Gateway Mall Netball Bonanza, the first of its kind in the region.
The sponsorship comes at a time when there is an outcry that in the Central Region, netball which is the country’s second largest sport, is largely sidelined by the corporate sector.
Unveiling the trophy at a press briefing in Lilongwe Saturday, CRNA chairperson Fanuel Katengeza said over 20 teams will participate.
“This is the first tournament of its kind in this region and we expect more team to register so as to make it more competitive,” he said.
He said Blue Eagles Sisters, Civo Nets, Mafco Soldiers and Airtel Money regional champions Green Sisters will be excluded from the preliminary round.
“These teams will join the competition in the quarter-final stage. They will be joined by four others that will qualify from the preliminary stage,” he said.
The competition is expected to start in June but the launch will take place this Saturday when Blue Eagles will play Civo Nets at Gateway Mall Shopping Centre premises in Lilongwe.
Mpico marketing manager Ellen Chapinduka Nyasulu said they are anticipating a competitive tournament.
She said Mpico decided to sponsor the tournament to take part in improving netball standards.
“We are part of this country and we felt it crucial to fund the competition,” she said.
The winner will pocket K1.5 million while the runner-up will take home K1 million and the third place goes at K800 000.
Fourth-placed side will receive K500 000 while fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth will receive K350 000, K300 000, K250 000 and K200 000. n