The inhabitants of Northern Malawi cherish the tradition of sport events of football and netball. Each year the new competition is welcomed with joy and eagerness by the young people in the villages.In the dry season – when people cannot work in het fields – the sport competitions are a good distraction for younger people, who can stay active in a positive way. Some of them have the luck to be ‘scouted’ to work for an organization or club and can generate some income with their sport.
This year a total of 117 teams took part, 79 for football and 38 netball teams.The teams are drawn from the whole catchment area of the Centre, which for the competition is divided in 4 zones, namely Hewe, Msazisi, Luviri and Bolero.
The Eva Demaya Centre also delegates some teams from those working at the Centre, to the zone of Luviri. The teams in each zone play their own mini-league for both netball and football. Each league culminates in a zone final, which delivers the zone winner for the current year.
The 2019 winners of the football and netball competitions, respectively, are:
Hewe: Katowo Rangers and Katowo Rangers Sisters
Mwazisi: Lusani FC and Galang’anda Sisters
Luviri: Chirambo FC and Chankhomi
Bolero: Mbonekera FC and Mkama Sisters
The sport competition has grown so much over the years that it now takes serious organization and management to ensure its smooth operation. As an indication all teams play each other both at home and at the opponents home, which in total needs sometimes 400 matches in only one zone, to be played in 6 months time.
Each zone has its own organizing committee. The chairpersons of these zone committees collaborate in the main committee, in which also staff members from the Eva Demaya Centre co-work. All participating teams pay a small contribution towards organizing costs. The remaining costs are provided by the Centre with the support of its sponsors.
This year again, the organisers, players, trainers and coaches and referees together contributed to the excellent progress of the games. In one of the zones the final match was after prolongation and penalty’s after sunset still undecided. Referees decided to have the teams play an extra match, which delivered in the end the seasons winner
The matches and in particular the finals always attract a large number of spectators who are very involved in the matches and the players and their supporters contribute greatly to the festive character of each match.