NEWS | SPORTS
By Chifundo Zingunde.
Absence of an indoor netball court, let alone flood lights in Mzuzu (Katoto netball court) forced Mzuzu Netball committee to enforce a two-quarter rule during the Mzuzu Netball Bonanza finals which Mzuzu Queens easily saw off Ellah Queens to clinch the tourney over the weekend.
The tournament, which was played last weekend, saw six teams battling each other for glory in the region. This came amidst background of dismal performances during national tourneys by teams from the city.
In the finals, it was Mzuzu Queens who appeared to have matters well under control for much of the game although Ellah queens tried to pull level in the last quarter but the damage had already been done by the city bonanza champions-elect.
By the endof it all; Mzuzu Queens triumphed via 11 baskets to 3.
In a post-match interview with EM, the winning coach Jane Saidi, attributed the victory to good tactics and preparations.
“We prepared well, and our tactics are working quite okay. If we can maintain this momentum, we can do better in national tournaments,” challenged Saidi.
However, on her side owner and coach for Ellah Queens, Ellah Mhone blamed the loss to fatigue saying that it was not healthy for her players to play 3 games in a short space.
“Since morning, my players have been running; playing games, it was not healthy hence fatigue had an impact on the results , no wonder we lost the final but I assure you , I have good girls ,and I will prove it some day,” said Mhone.
Meanwhile, the Mzuzu District netball committee has expressed dismay at the low turn-out of teams in the tourney. According to Patrick Kusibwa who is the General secretary of the committee, it was worrisome for teams not to participate in such competitions.
“A lot of teams pledged interest but only 6 showed up. It’s pathetic and worrisome. Netball is a good sport; they should all come to develop the sport. But big up for those who participated, such is the spirit,” said Kusibwa.
Kusibwa further called on the corporate world to venture into netball sponsorship in the region.
“The corporate world should come in, we have knocked doors, but they are closed! Please! Help netball. Northern region is the bread winner for the Queens, but nothing is there to show, help us,” pleaded he.
Mzuzu and the northern region in particular is one of the regions hardest hit by netball sponsorship drought. Last time it had one was close to seven years ago.