Malawi netball Queensâ€™ coach Edith Kaliati resigned on Friday, ending her 23-year romance in management, and coaching the Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) flat-footed.
â€œPlease be informed that in August 2011 I retired voluntarily from service of my employer, the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation, after working for 33 years,â€ writes Kaliati in a single-page letter dated March 16 2012.
â€œIt is with great joy and regret at the same time, that I have to inform you that with immediate effect I have retired from sports as coach of the Malawi national netball team.
NAM general secretary Helene Mpinganjira said the association was digesting the content of Kaliatiâ€™s resignation letter, figuring out the next course of action.
â€œWhere have you heard this? We have to meet and decide. Shock and sadness is my initial reaction to lose a female coach for a female team,â€ Mpinganjira said about Kaliati who took over from Griffin Saenda in 2008.
The challenge for NAM is that there are few female netball coaches of Kaliatiâ€™s calibreâ€”with sound academic education and top netball coaching badges. She holds A grade coaching certificate.
In an exclusive interview at her Ndirande Township home, Kaliati appeared to have reached her last netball mile having served as team manager, assistant coach and head coach from 1988 to date.
â€œI am also done with coaching MTL Queens. I have reached the dead end, Mr. Kanjere. It is time to create space for a new generation of coaches to handle this generation of players,â€ she said, sounding cool as she flipped through her career collection of newspaper cuttings and photographs in the living room.
Pressed to explain, Kaliati said she arrived at her decision after growing realisation over the years that her priorities in coaching were not on the same page with the current generation of players â€œeven on basics such as dressingâ€.
What next now for the good-natured lady?
â€œWell, I lost my parents years ago, then my son last year. I have to retreat to my home villageâ€”Mlanga (Magwati), T/A Nsamala, Balakaâ€”and help the poor in my home.â€