By Duncan Mlanjira
Volleyball enthusiast, Trust Mtegha has funded himself to attend the National Refereeing Course, which has been organised by Zambian Volletball Federation from February 28 to March 5 in Lusaka catering for the southern African region Zambia Volleyball Association).
Mtegha applauded Volleyball Association of Malawi (VAM) officials for facilitating that he gets enrolled to attend the course that will make him a certified referee.
“The last time we had a national referees course in Malawi is reported to be in 2013 and another one in 2006,” Mtegha said. “We have not more than 15 referees and very few are active on the ground.
“VAM has facilitated it by way of communicating with its counterpart, the Zambian Federation. As you are aware, it could not be that easy for me as an individual to directly contact the Zambia Federation. So I had to go through VAM.
He said he has met the participation fee is of 600 Zambia kwacha and travel cost of about MK30,000 one way bus fare, food, accommodation and local running costs.
“Though not certified, I have been officiating many games, especially league games and from now on, at least, I will build so much confidence and professionalism.
“This training, I believe, will improve and update my knowledge and competence of volleyball rules as according to the most recent development. It will also boost my confidence as a referee.
He acknowledged that volleyball in Malawi has picked up the pace but there is need to decentralize the game such as having structures at district or even erea committee levels to be part of the national structure.
“But at the moment, we only end at regional level because of financial challenges. Almost nothing is being invested in the game. Even from the Government’s point of view.
“It’s like volleyball does not exist in Malawi. Imagine that even on Presidential Initiative on Sports, only MK35,000 is allocated for volleyball in each district. Does that even make sense?
“However, I would like to recognise all stakeholders, that within their means or capability, are doing the best for the game, especially those that sponsor the game in various ways.
“Kudos to all those that are working for grassroots volleyball. That is the backbone of any development. We have seen individuals and companies coming forward to support the game.
“We continue to see individuals dedicated to the game, whether players, administrators and the fans — doing it for the love of the game and passion. They make it happen and make the difference,” Mtegha said.