Lilongwe-based Mipuniro Spikers is all set to participate in an international club volleyball Open which Zambia Volleyball Association (Zava) has organised to be played on Easter Holiday, April 19-21 in Lusaka.
Spikers team manager Musatero Nkhozi said they are very ready to travel to this tournament and showcase their volleyball talent and have since assembled a very good squad.
“The Zava tournament is open to any team that can foot their own travel and accommodation costs. Financially, we are usually driven by each other but we have a strong bond with external financiers who come to our rescue when any need arises. This gives us a lot of confidence in such moments.
On how Spikers get such recognition from Zava, Nkhozi said it started when a team from Chipata, Zambia, the Taliban Forces, came to Malawi with their basketball colleagues to play Bravehearts at African Bible College (ABC).
“The team got beaten 3-0 and when they travelled back to Chipata, they spread our good volleyball skills throughout Zambia. This caught the attention of ZAVA to invite us for this yearly event. We are so humbled by this gesture.
“This will be our first time as a team to play volleyball outside the borders of Malawi. Of course, this is just the beginning of such trips to mostly other neighboring countries.
On the local scene, Mipuniro are arguably, one of the best team as underlined by league and tournament rankings in the past three years.
“A number of individual awards won by our players in various tournaments is another reason enough to understand that Mipuniro is the best team on the land. So we are very ready to participate in this tournament. Of course just like in any other tournament, we are the favorites to win Gold. We are always a team to watch.”
Nkhozi said the team was initially formed by ex-college students as a pastime initiative, to beat boredom of inactiveness soon after leaving corridors of the colleges.
“That has now changed, we have taken a new approach by including a women side. We have a strong base of ladies waiting on the wings to put pen to paper once a ladies side is registered. We take pride in the way we attract membership from athletes willing to join us at youth, senior or ladies categories.”
The administrative structure the team has Nkhozi as team manager, Deodata Kamoto as chairperson, Ananias Mfuni as general secretary, Lilian Msonthi as treasurer, Paul Simba as coach, Trust Mtegha as deputy coach, Horace Kwengwere as captain whose deputy is Hlahla Pedro’s Kwenda.
It rolled off as a team as a group of undergraduate University and College volleyball players particularly University of Malawi — Polytechnic, Chancellor College, Bunda and Kamuzu College of Nursing (KCN).
Then in 2015, it got registered to play in Central Region Volleyball League (CRVL) and from then never looked back.
Some of the honours list include:
- Silver medalists of the first Volleyball Association of Malawi (VAM) national tournament, 2018 sponsored by Vale Logistics
- Rising from fourth position in 2015 and 2016 to silver medalist in Category A Men, in Sempha CRVL 2017 Season. This made the team automatically qualify for 2018 VAM National Tournament sponsored by Raiply Malawi
- Raiply 2018 will go down in its history books as a year when the team shone brilliantly in exhibiting individual skills. Some players got Most Valuable Player (MVP), Best Setter, and Best Blocker awards from this major national tournament
- Dominated among the six individual awards slots for Sempha CRVL 2017 Season. Most Valuable Player (MVP), Best Setter, Best Libero were from Mipuniro Spikers
- Bronze medalist in 2018 Violence Free Invitational Tournament, a tournament organized by volleyball teams across the nation to fight violence in the sport of volleyball
- Qualified for the first time in Raiply VAM National Tournament, 2017 and came fourth
- Won silver medal in FMB Bank CRVL tournament in 2016