Despite Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) boasting of four International Netball Federation (INF) qualified coach trainers, the association has not used them, and for the past eight years, it has failed to produce new coaches, Nation on Sunday has established.
This has resulted in inadequacy of qualified coaches, which is a big setback that the Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) has ordered that next season, netball should embrace club licensing which, among other requirements, demands qualified coaches.
Currently, Malawi has only five certified netball coaches, namely Kukoma Diamonds coach Griffin Saenda, Tigresses mentor Peace Chawinga-Kaluwa, Blue Eagles Sisters coach Sam Kanyenda, newly-appointed shooters coach for English side Mavericks Mary Waya and retired Thunder Queens coach Edith Kaliati.
The late Civonets coach, the late Connis Mhone, was the other certified coach.
Over 20 teams play in domestic competitions, but only the five clubs have the luxury of the qualified coaches.
One of the coach trainers, who asked for anonymity, said NAM has not given them a platform to drill the coaches to certificate level since they obtained the qualification in 2007.
“INF, through Liz Broomhead drilled us with the hope that NAM would use us to improve trained as many coaches as possible, but up to now, we have only been engaged in preparatory coaching courses,” the trainer of coaches said.
“The development means, currently, Malawi does not have other qualified netball coaches apart from the five established mentors.”
NAM general secretary Carol Bapu said they are aware of the problem and that they will rectify it soon.
When quizzed to explain why all this while the local netball governing body was not doing enough to improve the qualification of coaches Bapu refsued to comment.
Recently, Malawi Queens surrendered the continent’s number one spot to South Africa, finished as African Netball Championships’ runners up to lowly ranked Uganda and saw their INF world rating slump from 137 to 117 this year.
MNCS executive secretary George Jana said they will meet NAM on the issue.
He said: “Here, we have a problem because without having more qualified coaches our netball standards will not improve. It is cheaper to let the locally available coaches trainers to conduct the course in the country, but I am not sure why they are not being utilised..
“Ordinarily, it appears NAM only focused on organising preparatory coaching courses to build their bases. However, it is high time they upgraded their coaches. We will sit down with them, look at their strategic plan and see how they intend to develop. It is from that angle that we can help.”
But Jana also pleaded with the coaches trainers to take an initiative to drill coaches without waiting for NAM’s intervention and incentives.