2024-07-13

Queens off to Australia for PacificAus Sports Netball Series

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Queens off to Australia for PacificAus Sports Netball Series……..

By Antony Isaiah Jr…..

The Malawi National Netball Team will leave today for Australia to compete in the PacificAus Sports Netball Series to be held in Gold Coast.

Malawi National Council of Sports has confirmed that the Malawi Government has funded the Queens with MK100 Million for a trip.

Malawi National Council of Sports Spokesperson, Edgar Ntulumbwa said the money released covers Air Tickets, allowances and accommodation.

“The team will leave today on 19 April for Australia. We have released MK100 Milion for the team to go for the competition. This month is the beginning of government’s new year, so we were waiting for the budget and we are confirming this that the team is leaving for the competition today,” Ntulunga.

Netball Australia, under the PacificAus Sports program and funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), will be hosting the third installment of the PacificAus Sports Netball Series in April 2023.   

For the first time, African nations Kenya, Malawi and Zambia will travel to Australia to compete in the competition against returning teams Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Singapore and dual-series champions Tonga.
    
The inclusion of the three African nations provides an opportunity for Pacific partner countries to improve their performance through exposure to teams rarely competed against.  

Meanwhile, the Queens are travelling to the competition with six professional players out of the squad due to Club’s commitments.

According to the 14-msmber squad released by the Netball Association of Malawi, Towera Vinkhumbo, Joyce Mvula, are among the professionals missing.

Coach Peace Chawinga-Kalua said she wanted to have the full squad as the team will use the matches to prepare for the Netball World Cup to be held in South Africa in July this year.

Chawinga said, “It’s the important competition. It will determine the ranking points and it will also set the benchmark before going to World Cup. We were supposed to take the full squad. We have taken youngsters and senior players due to the Club’s commitments. We will use these matches to assess where to touch before the World Cup starts.”

Chawinga in her squad, she has included 6 defenders namely, Martha Dambo, Beauty Basiao, Grace Mwafulirwa, Lauren Ngwira, Chifuniro Moses and Shabel Bengo.

Only four midcourt players have been added namely, Lillie Banda, Shirakawa Dimba, Takonda Lwazi and Flaurence Gamuka.

Shooters are Jane Chimaliro, Sindi Simtowe, Salomy Nkhoma and Stellar Matetezi.

The Queens are in pool A alongside Samoa, PNG and FIJI. They will kick-start their competition against FIJI on 24 April, 2023.

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