The Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) has said Malawi will for the first time host the African Netball Championships in the commercial city of Blantyre next year.
NAM has since called for corporate support to develop standard netball facilities prior to the contest.
Speaking at the launch of the 2012 OG Issa League season at Blantyre Youth Centre (BYC) on Saturday, NAM general secretary Helene Mpinganjira said it would be embarrassing for the Malawi Queens, who are the reigning champions, to use inadequate and substandard facilities during the continental showpiece.
During the event, which will take place between April and May, Malawi is expected to host South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho and Namibia .
“The inadequacy and the current poor state of available facilities do not tally with our status on the international scene, where we are number one in Africa and number five in the world,” said Mpinganjira.
At present, the most reliable netball court in Blantyre is the BYC one, which has developed cracks. It also does not have a good shelter in times of rain.
Southern Region Netball League (SRNL) chairperson Khungekile Matiya said the corporate world should also appreciate Malawi Queensâ€™ achievements on the international scene by coming up in large numbers to sponsor domestic netball.
Chimwemwe Kachingwe, one of the managers at the Reserve Bank of Malawi who was guest of owner during the launch of the OG Issa League, advised the netball fraternity to avoid or resolve conflicts amicably so as to build a good image of netball and attract sponsors.