Ministry of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development has endorsed the Queens’ coaching panel for the forthcoming Africa Netball Championship which includes veteran coach Griffin ‘Zagallo’ Saenda.
Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development Francis Kasaila recently directed that Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) should first release the national netball team’s coaching panel before funding for the tournament is released.
This was after the Queens finished seventh at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games for the first time in two decades. He minister questioned the credentials of the coaching panel.
Asked yesterday if the inclusion of Saenda has met government’s expectation, the minister said: “We have always trusted the technical abilities of Mr. Griffin Saenda [Snr] and we believe that if he was with us at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, the team would have done better.
“In our discussions with NAM, we emphasised the need to have, in the technical panel, people that are as qualified as Mr. Saenda Snr; hence, the need to prioritise human resource capacity development.”
Last week, the minister was quoted by the Daily Times as having said: “Government has always supported the Queens. [But] the question is: Are we going there [to Zambia] to compete or participate?
“When we went to Australia, I would say [we were there just] to participate, we noticed some technical challenges by some people who are supposed to help the Queens. In simpler terms, we didn’t have a coach”
But NAM said Saenda did not make the trip to the Gold Coast due to illness and that explains his reinstatement.
In the absence of Saenda at the Commonwealth Games, the Queens were under the tutelage Whyte Mlilima and physical fitness trainer Griffin Saenda Jnr.