Netball players in the country can afford a smile as the Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) has given permission to the Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) to allow teams start training in readiness for the start of the 2021 netball season.
In an official communique released by NAM Vice General Secretary, Brian Gausi, NAM says government has set a condition that all Covid-19 preventive measures be adhered to, including no assembling of more than fifty people.
The communique also advises regional netball committees to communicate the same to regional league sponsors for proper planning and running of the leagues.
Guidelines for training include that all players and officials be tested for Covid-19 in their respective districts, no hugging and handshaking before, during and after matches and that all personnel except players on the field of play should wear masks at all times.
Commenting on the development, NAM General Secretary, Carol Bapu, told Nyasa Times that it was time to conspicuously prepare for the return of the beautiful game of netball.
"We have been doing everything possible to prepare for the return of netball but maybe people could not see. It is now time for teams to start training.
"As NAM we are so happy with this development. The whole of 2020 passed without any netball activity. This is the news any netball lover would love to hear. Competitive games will start very soon," remarked Bapu.
Linda Tembo, a netball player from Mzuzu, told Nyasa Times she was overwhelmed with the news.
"If feels really good. I missed the game. I got vaccinated against Covid-19 recently. I urge my fellow players all the over the country to get vaccinated, follow all the guidelines and train hard so that we can have a successful season," Tembo said.
Meanwhile, NAM is encouraging all netball players and officials to go for Covid-19 vaccination.
NAM also says it will impose sanctions for noncompliance of the guidelines set for training by all teams.