Landed property solution providers MPICO Group on Sunday, July 8, 2018 opened gates for the K35 million Gateway Netball Challenge, Season 3 as the company in conjunction with Central Region Netball Committee (CRNC) officially launched this year’s competition in a colorful ceremony, which took place at Mponela Police Ground in Dowa district.
The ceremony started with a trophy parade from Mponela Police ground to Malawi Entrepreneurship Development Institute (MEDI) and back to the police ground, where there was a netball match involving Presidential Cup champions Blue Eagles and GOTv Netball Challenge champions Civonets.
The giants’ clash was curtain-raised by a netball game between Mponela Police and Support Battalion from Mvera in the same district.
Gracing the launch were two Cabinet Ministers Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development Minister Francis Kasaila and Gender Minister Jean ‘Nachika’ Kalirani, who is also Member of Parliament for Dowa Central. Chairperson for Women Caucus in Parliament Jessie Kabwila, who has been following the tournament from its inaugural stage, was also in attendance.
Both Ministers hailed MPICO for partnering with a sport that has helped to put Malawi on the world map.
“If there is a sport in this country that has been representing us well on the international scene, it is Netball. It is, therefore, pleasing to see companies like MPICO partnering with this sport. Apart from sponsoring the tournament, the company constructed a netball court at the Gateway Mall. This is the way to go,” said Kasaila.
The Minister urged other companies to consider investing in sports infrastructure when building their infrastructure.
Kabwila lobbied the government to build more netball infrastructure and consider allocating more resources to netball.
Netball Association of Malawi vice general secretary Brian Gausi and Central Region Netball Committee vice chairman Fernando Ligola took turns thanking the property investment company for the sponsorship, which they said has changed the face of netball in central region.
Taking her turn, MPICO operations and marketing manager Ellen Chapinduka Nyasulu said her company was pleased to see the sport growing in central region after only two years of the sponsorship: “We have been very pleased as sponsors to hear about the positive developments that have come along with this investment.
“Before this investment, netball teams from this region were being dominated by their southern region counterparts but now the two major national trophies have been won by central region teams for the first time in the country’s netball history. The national netball team is also being trained by a coach from central region and the national teams have been flooded with players from this region,” said Nyasulu.
Nyasulu commended the Cabinet Ministers and chairperson for Women Caucus for gracing the launch.
During the netball games, Blue Eagles Sisters defetated Civonets 24-21 with Mponela Police routing Support Battalion 12-2Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :