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   Malawi Sports

landofsmilesSports in Malawi have been shaped by its history as a colony in the old British Empire, with the most popular sports coming from Britain. Football (soccer) is the most popular sport. It is played by boys at all levels from makeshift village playfields to the national football team.

Netball has long been a popular sport for schoolgirls. Malawi is a full member of the International Federation of Netball Associations and is currently ranked fifth internationally. The Malawi national netball team has put Malawi on the African map, qualifying for and coming first in regional tournaments such as the COSANA tournament. Malawi has competed at two Netball World Championships, and one Commonwealth Games. At the 2007 Netball World Championships, Malawi finished fifth beating strong teams such as Wales, Cook Islands, and South Africa.

landofsmilesIn post-colonial Malawi, other sports have been introduced into the schools. Volleyball and basketball have taken hold, principally through the efforts of Peace Corps Volunteers from the USA in the mid 1960s. The African Bible College has further contributed to the growth of basketball by bringing professionals from USA to hold coaching clinics and also sending some of the best players to the USA.

Athletics and cross-country running have also been developing since independence. From the year 2000, there has been an improvement in the quality of athletes, the most notable of whom is Catherine Chikwakwa, now based in Germany. There are other runners from the University of Malawi and the Army who have shown significant progress.

Malawi sent a delegation of 4 athletes to the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics to compete in athletics and swimming.

Cricket has started growing in Malawi. There is already a Malawi national cricket team and interest is growing at the grass roots level. Other sporting fields like tennis and squash have recently started gaining popularity, and the squash team will most likely participate in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

Visit official site of Malawi National Council of Sports: http://www.sportmalawi.mw

 

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