Northern Region netball authorities have called on companies to sponsor competitions in the region as inactivity has led to a rise in pregnant cases among players.
Mzuzu and Districts Netball Committee (MDNC) chairperson Limbani Chisambi made the revelation on Tuesday as the league clocks two years without sponsorship.
He said inactivity among the players has forced some into early marriages while others have become pregnant out of wedlock.
“We have never had such numbers of pregnant players. In the past we could have one case per year. This just tells us that netball dormancy is having a huge impact here,” he said.
Chisambi said one of the players—a 16-year-old—recently got married but he advised her to optt out of the marriage.
“I told her to leave the marriage because it is too early for her. Most of the girls I talk to say they survive through netball so the lack of competitions means they are not earning anything and have nothing to keep them busy,” he said.
To address the situation, Chisambi said there was need for the corporate sector to bail them out.
“Ï think we need sponsorship to keep the girls busy. If this doesn’t happen then careers of most talented players will be lost through early pregnancies and marriages,” he said.
The sponsorship appeal comes after Minister of Sports and Culture Grace Chiumia also drummed up support for the Northern Region netball.
“The Southern and Central regions have sponsors while the North is lagging behind. It is my appeal to the corporate world to support netball there,” she said at the launch of K8 million Gateway Mall in Lilongwe two weeks ago.
Meanwhile, Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) has said it is courting potential sponsors for the North.
“Sponsorship priority should be the league because it keeps players active for a long time. We are optimistic that soon we are going to secure sponsorship for teams there,” she said.