Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development, Francis Kasaila, Member of Parliament Jessie Kabwila—in her capacity as Chairperson of Women’s Caucus in Parliament—and a handful of netball lovers  on Tuesday welcomed Malawi national netball team.

Kasaila said he was pleased with the team’s performance and asked the private sector to complement the government’s efforts in developing netball.

The sports minister made the remarks at Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe after jetting in from Melbourne, Australia, where the Queens finished on fourth position out of six teams which competed in the Fast5 Netball World Series over the weekend.

“As the government, we will continue to support the Queens so that they prepare well for competitions. But we need the support of companies to assist the team so that they continue doing us proud,” he said.

Kabwila also offered words of encouragement to the players, saying: “The Queens have performed beyond our expectations. If we invest more in the team, they can do better.”

The Queens Coach, Griffin Saenda Senior however called for early camp training ahead of next year’s World Netball Championship in England.

“We need more days to prepare for such tournaments. I am sure that we could have done better if we had stayed in camp for one month. It was also good beating England and South Africa; a sign that we are recovering,” he said.

At the Fast5, the Queens beat England and South Africa but lost to Jamaica, New Zealand and Australia (twice). The Queens finished on sixth place at last year’s competition.

The Queens trained for 10 days ahead of the tournament in Australia. The team is without a sponsor after Rach Family Trust’s failed deal.

: