Queens leave for Australia Friday

All is set as Malawi Queens fired up with Airtel Money sponsorship, fly to Australia on Friday for a series of test matches against the hosts ahead of Fastnet championship in New Zealand.
Netball Association of Malawi has since released a final squad to travel to Australia.
Head coach Griffin Saenda has dropped five out of 18 players and also missing from the squad are shooter Sindie Simtowe, defender Grace Mwafulirwa and centre court Beatrice Mpinganjira all from Tigresses.
The squad will be led by captain Caroline Mtukule with Joanna Kachilika as her deputy. Other players in the squad include Towera Vinkhumbo, Jessie Mazengera, Tina Kamzati, Takondwa Lwazi, Bridget Kumwenda, Martha Dambo, Joyce Mvula, Jane Chimaliro and Mwawi Kumwenda who will join the squad in Australia.
The Queens leave Blantyre for Lilongwe on Thursday and will then fly to South Africa where they will connect to Australia.
They play Australia’s Silver Ferns in Test Series before proceeding to Auckland, New Zealand for Fast5 Series then to Fiji for more test matches.
But before leaving for Australia the Queens will attend the unveiling ceremony of Airtelmoney sponsorship in Lilongwe.
Airtel Malawi has pumped in K360 million sponsorship for Malawi netball which will stretch for a period of three years.
The mobile phone operators announced the good news in Lilongwe last month.
The sponsorship, which translates to K120 million per year, surpasses government annual funding which is at about K40 million.
It also surpasses governments annual sponsorship for football which is at K60 million.
The sponsorship is a big boost for Malawi netball which has time and again complained of poor funding.
Despite being the only sporting discipline that brings smiles on Malawians, netball has suffered from lack of funding both from government and the corporate world.
Airtel Money Country Director Andrew Santhe said it was sad that netball, the only sport that puts Malawi on the map, fails to participate in international competitions due to lack of funds yet its CV is filled with accolades and international recognition on the world stage.
“Often times, it has been so disheartening to read in the press, that our netball team has failed to participate in such and such tournament due to lack of funds. Each time you hear of a failure in netball, it is about funds failing the team, and not the team being defeated,” he said.
“Today, Airtel says, enough of that cry . A game changer is here. The leading brand Airtel, through its Airtel Money arm, has decided to associate itself with the winning sport -netball. Netball in the world out there elicits passion, fun and unity. Airtel Money wants to be an integral part of our communities and their association with netball has strong elements of creating positive change and engagement.”

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