Delegates to the Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) annual general meeting (AGM) made landmark resolutions which included completely banning pregnant players from competitive matches while also splitting the Eastern Region from Southern Region Netball Committee (SRNC).
The resolutions made in Lilongwe on Saturday and coming from affiliates’ proposals, will be incorporated in the NAM constitution, the netball governing body said.
In other countries, players are allowed to play until their pregnancy reaches four months, but after a protracted debate, the delegates agreed to ban all pregnant players regardless of the pregnancy stage.
“For the sake of safety for our players, we need to totally ban pregnant players whether the pregnancy is just a week old, it doesn’t matter,” said Dowa District Netball Committee chairperson Hetherwick Tambala.
The delegates, however, asked clubs to ensure that they work with NAM in enforcing the ban.
NAM president Rosy Chinunda said she supported the ban because netball games are played under medically unsafe environment.
“In other countries, especially the developed ones, there are ambulances at the venues. That is why players that are up to four months pregnant are allowed to play. Here in Malawi we can’t risk our girls,” she said.
On letting Eastern Region to be a stand-alone, Chinunda said it was a proposal from netball officials in the region.
“They wanted to be administering themselves so the AGM have given them a go ahead. What they will need now are structures which will include electing an executive committee,” she said.
Meanwhile, Southern Region Netball Committee General Secretary Anne Hanjahanja, in an interview, said it must be clearly outlined if the Eastern Region will be running its own league.
Most of the teams that are in the Eastern Region compete in the Southern Region Rainbow Paints League.n