Parachute Community Day Secondary School (CDSS) are this yearâ€™s Central East Education Division (Ceed) champions after beating Nkhotakota College 2-1 in the finals played at Kasungu Teachers Training College on Saturday.
The victory was not a fluke for the Salima-based school as it also walloped Mpherere CDSS 7-1 in the semi-finals.
This yearâ€™s tournament, however, experienced hitches as Matenje (Dowa) and Chamama (Kasungu) secondary schools failed to turn up because of transport problems, resulting in only four teams taking part in the tournament.
â€œEven for us to be here is because we got support from Parachute Battalion, but it has been tough on teams meeting costs,â€ said Parachute coach Sergeant Gift Kadammanja.
Kadammanja expressed reservations over the prize money, saying: â€œIn other divisions, winners have received K30 000, runners-up K20 000 and third-placed teams K15 000, but, as champions, we have received K20 000, which is unfair.â€
In netball competition, which was sponsored by the Malawi Secondary Schools Association (Massa), Kasungu Boma CDSS are this yearâ€™s champions. They beat Mafco CDSS 14-10.
To reach the finals, Kasungu beat Linga CDSS (Nkhotakota) 18-14 whereas Mafco beat Ntchisi 17-6.
Kasungu Boma goal-attacker Winniefece Chunga was voted top goalscorer of the tournament after scoring 17 baskets in all games.
Kasungu coach Richard Mkandawire attributed his teamâ€™s success to unity of purpose.
â€œThis is the first time for us to make it at Division level. All along, we could not go beyond the district finals. I told the girls to work as a team and here we are,â€ he said.
Just as it was in football, five teams took part in the tournament.
While expressing satisfaction with the way the tournament has been run, Ceed chairperson Edward Kambatuwa acknowledged that transport was a big problem. He appealed to Carlsberg Malawi, sponsors of the tournament, to consider providing transport for the schools.
Carlsberg Malawi Limited routing and scheduling officer Henderson Chirambo also expressed satisfaction with the way the tournament has been run.
â€œThere is abundant talent in the rural areas as evidenced by what we have seen here in Kasungu. The objective of the tournament has been met,â€ said Chirambo.