Style, pomp and colour added vibe to the celebratory mood that was accorded to the Malawi National Netball Team ‘The Queens’ on their return from Glasgow, Scotland where they participated in the 2014 Commonwealth games.
The celebration mode was activated right after the Queens landed at Kamuzu International Airport at noon on Tuesday, they paraded in an open roof double decker bus, all the way to Capital Hotel where the team was treated to a luncheon courtesy of Airtel Malawi, the official sponsor.
During the luncheon, Airtel reaffirmed the brand’s commitment to developing netball and further awarded individuals that comprised the netball crew that participated in the just ended Commonwealth games.
In his remarks, Airtel Malawi’s Chief Commercial Officer Charles Kamoto said the Queens performance in Scotland was impressive and the team had demonstrated to be a source of national pride.
To that feat, Airtel awarded the team with a cool MK3 million which will be shared as follows: players MK200, 000 each, officials that accompanied the team MK100, 000 each and officials that remained in Malawi MK50, 000 each.
“We believe your experience in Scotland provided you with the much needed lessons that would be used to make you beat your current mark in the netball world. We believe you can and Airtel is here to inspire you to rule your destiny to greatness. The Queens deserve the best from us all,” observed Kamoto.
The guest of honour at the event was Minister of Youth and Sports Grace Obama Chiumia who noted that netball is a sport that Malawi needs to invest in and develop.
According to Chiumia, Airtel deserves a pat on the back for investing massively in the sport of netball.
“Netball is a sport that our country needs to seriously invest in because it has proved to be a reliable source of national pride as the sport continues to lift Malawi’s flag higher on the world scene.
“Sometimes it is sad to see how unappreciative some quarters are when they resort to touting negative publicity about the Queens,” she explained.
She therefore appealed to the private sector to work hand in hand with government in bolstering policy and investment in the area of sport.
The Malawi National Netball team is number one in Africa and hold position 5 in the global netball rankings. Airtel Malawi through its Airtel Money property pumped in a record MK360 million to the sponsorship of netball in the country.
The Queens are expected to travel to Auckland later this year to participate in the Fast5 Netball World Series which features top world national teams.