Government has pledged to revise with immediate effect daily training allowances and game bonuses for the Malawi National Netball team- ‘The Queens’.
Minister of Sports Richard Chimwendo said this when he visited the The Queens on the side-lines of the Tri-Nations tournament which Malawi has been hosting this week at the Kamuzu University of Health Sciences Sports Complex in Blantyre.
Currently Queens’ players receive MK5,000 as daily training allowance and MK50 000 for a win.
Chimwendo observed that the current perks are on the lower side especially considering the current cost of living.
“The queens are the pride of the nation and they deserve better and that’s why my ministry will work towards improving their welfare by revising upwards their training allowance and game bonuses,” said Chimwendo.
Reacting to the news, vocal sports analyst Kim Kamau has hailed government’s move describing it as a timely boost ahead of the Commonwealth Games set for next month.
“This is good news that the Minister has seen it necessary to revise the queens’ players allowances. If you compare the Queens’ allowances to the men’s team you will see that what the queens’ get are just peanuts yet these girls continue to put the country on the map with impressive performances on the international scene,” said Kamau.
Kamau said the ministry’s move to revise the allowances only shows that government is seriously committed towards sports development.
Kamau has since appealed to the queens’ players to put the money into good use.
“My humble appeal to the girls is that they should invest their money properly as they prepare for life after netball to avoid scenarios where former athletes become destitute after retiring,” said Kamau.
In a related development, Chimwendo has told the local media that government will bankroll the Malawi senior national football team’s participation at this year’s COSAFA tournament scheduled to start next month.
There were growing fears that the flames might not make it to this year’s tournament due to financial challenges.
Speaking to the media in Blantyre, Chimwendo said government will finance Flames’ participation.
“It’s not that government has a lot of money to spend but the COSAFA tournament is important as it will provide a platform for local players to gain exposure ahead of the CHAN tournament as well as the ongoing AFCON 2023 qualifiers hence our decision to come in and bail out FAM,” said Chimwendo
Chimwendo has since appealed to the corporate world to partner government in supporting sports development in the country.