When compared to the much-adored Malawi football team, the Flames, the Malawi Queens are what you might call the middle child or the neglected child. Before we get into the topic of this article, here are just a few of the many interesting facts about the Malawi queens:
Qualified and played in six world netball championships and famously finished fifth in 2007.
Played and won against one of the high-ranking netball teams in the world, New Zealand (ranks number 2 in the world) at the 2018 Commonwealth games.
Finished on position seven in the Birmingham common wealth games, 2022.
Are on position 7 on world netball ranking.
Produced some of the most talented professional netball stars in the world (i.e Mwawi Kumwenda, and Joyce Mvula) the former, who won an award for the athlete of the year at the 2016 international world games association being the only African voted in that category.
Qualified for the 2023 Netball World cup.
(Sourced from wikipedia,netball.sport,netballscoop)
Looking at all of their statistics, some of which I have left out, I wonder why as a nation we fail to support with adequate funding? This is a team of dedicated Malawians who go above and beyond to make us proud every time they set out for the pitch, so why does it appear like they are overlooked and neglected when it comes to financial support? I mean, this is a team that has consistently put us on the map despite being given several reasons not to?
During this year's common wealth games, the queens had to threaten to boycott trainings in order to demand a raise in their allowances. For many years, the issue of financial difficulties has gone unresolved. Remember how, back in 2015, a Queens training camp was abruptly canceled due to a lack of funds? This wasn't just any camp; it was a camp to prepare for the World Netball Championship!
I had my fingers crossed that finally, this problem would be completely addressed when the minister of sports, Richard Chimwendo Banda promised to revise the queens' daily training allowances, in June, this year, but it appears that the minister did not keep his word.
Despite threatening a boycott, the queens, as patriotic as they are, still pulled up for training and finished in seventh place. I find it unfair for us to expect them to perform under conditions where their needs and demands are not being met. They have repeatedly demonstrated their loyalty and dedication to this country; now it is time for us to assure them, show them that we do not take their hard work for granted by paying them what they are worth, and by ensuring that they have proper funding to finance their trainings ,games and more.
As a country, we should be ashamed for how we treat one of the world's top netball teams.
Footnote: The middle child reference: origin derived from the term Middle child syndrome
Meaning - The belief that middle children are excluded ,ignored or even outright neglected because of their birth order-Wikipedia