The Malawi National netball team, the Queens, have arrived in South Africa today afternoon where they will compete in the 2023 Netball world cup which is scheduled to start on Friday 28th July to 6th August 2023 in Cape Town.
Before departure at Kamuzu International airport today morning, the Queens were treated to send-off dinner yesterday evening at the Bingu International Convention Center in Lilongwe which was organized by the Malawi National Council of Sports.
Speaking during the send-off dinner Guest of Honor Mr. Isaac Katopola who is the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Youth and Sports and was standing in for the Minister of Youth and Sports Honorable Uchizi Mkandawire MP urged the Queens to raise the Malawi flag high at the tournament.
‘’As Government in conjunction with the Malawi National Council of Sports we found it very necessary to conduct a formal send-off of the Queens as they proceed to compete at this year’s world cup in Cape Town South Africa. You are aware that the Government and the general public have high hopes of the Queens, looking at the past performances they have done well, of course they have met some setbacks. They used to be in the top five in the world and they are now number six. It is our hope as Government that the team will do well at the world cup,’’ explained Katopola.
In his remarks MNCS Vice Board Chairperson Charles Ulaya Banda explained that Council’s expectations of the Queens are to win the world cup.
‘’We want them to go and give everything and excel, they should not underestimate or underrate themselves, we have told them that they should not fear any team. They have already shown in the past that they can perform better at the world stage. So we want them to go to Cape Town, South Africa and win the trophy, but if they do not win, they should make it in the top five,’’ explained Ulaya Banda.
FDH Managing Director Noel Mkulichi wished the Queens all the best as they go and represent Malawi at the world cup.
‘’We wish the Queens all the best, we believe they will be able to do it mindful of where they are coming from, we believe they have all the power and all the energy to ensure that they do well at the world cup,’’ explained Mkulichi.
Queens Captain Jane Chimaliro said they are going to the world cup to raise the Malawian flag high and make the country proud
‘’ With the training that we have had we are geared for battle and we know that we are going to do better, Malawians should just have faith in us. The send-off dinner has also boosted our morale and its an honor, we thank Government through sports council for this opportunity,’’ explained Chimaliro.
The Queens are in Group B alongside favorites England, 10th placed Scotland and 14th ranked team Barbados. The Queens will begin their campaign on 28thJuly against Scotland before facing England on 29th July and finish the group games with Barbados on 30th July 2023.