MTL Queens and Diamonds have been paired in what was described as a ‘group of death’ in the 2013 Rainbow Paints Tournament launched on Tuesday at the Blantyre Youth Centre.
In a draw conducted in the presence of the five participating teams, Diamonds, MTL Queens and Woget have been paired in the same group while in Group B there is Bingu Tigresses, Glass Bank and the third team will come from the junior level.
Tigresses official Helen Mpinganjira said they will not take lightly their group which has two under-dogs.
“In a cup game there is no such a big and smaller team, so we will treat our opponent with no kid gloves. We also expect a tough ride because many netball teams have improved,” said Mpinganjira.
Tigresses withdrew from last year’s final against Escom Sisters and MTL Queens replaced them. Escom, now called Diamonds, won comfortably.
Diamonds coach Griffin Saenda described their group as a group of death but vows that they will defend their title.
“We expect a tough battle in our quest to defend the title because in our group we have MTL Queens which is not a walk over. All in all let us wait and see because our aim is to grab this cup for a second consecutive time,” said Saenda.
Woget official Dalitso Chinyama said they were not intimidated to be paired in the same group with the two giants and assured their fans that they will upset the tables.
“We are ready to fight until we qualify despite being paired with MTL and Diamonds,” said Chinyama.
MTL Queens team manager Emily Machinjiri described their group as tough.
“It will not be the first time to face the likes of Diamonds even Woget so in short we are not moved instead we will just get ready for the games,” she said.
A Rainbow Paints Sales Marketing Manager Bruno Sailas said they have raised tournament sponsorship money from K1 million to K2 million (about $5,000).
“We considered the current economic situation and we felt that K1 million was not enough. We feel K2 million will do justice to the players who sacrifice their sweat to make the competition exciting,” he said.
“We were also impressed with the way the administration of the tournament by the Southern Region Netball League Committee,” said Sailas.
“Netball is a sport that has brought pride to the nation and as such Rainbow Paints is happy to be associated with the game. We also cherish the cordial relationship between Rainbow Paints Company, Southern Region Netball League Committee and Sports Writers Association of Malawi,” he added/
He however, urged the teams to observe fair play.
Sailesi also elaborates that Rainbow Paints company will adopt some of the players who will put a gallant fight during the tournament up to an extent of progressing through into the Malawi Queens squad.
“We are glad to hear that one of the players Jessica Mazengera was selected to the Malawi Queens squad after a blossoming performance in the last season Rainbow Paints Tournament.”
Netball Association of Malawi general secretary Caro Bapu hailed Rainbow Paints Company for raising the sponsorship before urging other companies to emulate the example.
“Despite economic hardships it is encouraging to see companies like Rainbow Paints associating themselves with netball. As you know government alone cannot manage to do everything on its own as far as uplifting the game of netball is concerned. We are very appreciative to Rainbow,” she said.
Bapu also said the tournament will help Malawi Queens’s players to keep in shape as they prepare for international tournaments.
Sports Writers Association of Malawi President Peter Kanjere saluted the media for good coverage of the tournament and urged them to soldier on as Rainbow Paints has not left the media in the awards.
For instance, Kanjere mentioned that in this year’s tournament they will put various categories for the media to compete in awards.
For example, there will be two best journalists from each of the following categories, from print, electronic, photo-journalist, online and television.
The sponsorship was brokered by Sports Writers Association of Malawi when the body was looking for a social football tournament.
In this year’s tournament, the winning team will smile all the way to the bank to withdraw K250,00 with the second team collecting K120,000.
The team which will occupy third slot will receive K100,00 with the fourth place going home with K70,000.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :