The Sunday of today, 29th October 2017 opened with early excitement among Basketball lovers as the Southern Zone Basketball League (SOZOBAL) launched its first-ever United General Insurance (UGI) Wheelchair Basketball Tournament.
Graced by the presence of UGI Strategic Business Unit Manager, MacRhonius Chikuse who was Guest of Honour, the function was a highly represented one with an appreciable level of attendance of both officials and the general public.
Speaking at the function prior to the games, Chikuse reminded players on the importance of fair play.
“As a wellness-oriented insurance company, UGI is committed to supporting wheelchair basketball, and as you play, have it in mind that the whole executive is and shall be with you throughout the whole league and beyond. I wish you all the best and I will be here to watch”, said Chikuse when addressing the players.
He further added that although the tournament is designed in such a way that winners will go with prizes, players must remember that the benefits of sports participation lie not in financial gains but in the promotion of physical well-being and the spirit of togetherness.
During the launch, 3 matches were played. In the morning, Roaring Thunders beat Wheel Warriors 16 -14 baskets, whereas the Zigzaggers beat Black Spiders 8 – 6 baskets. In the afternoon, the Black spiders again lost to Roaring Thunders 7 – 9 baskets.
Speaking based on his observation, Charles Nyasa who is Chairperson of Wheelchair Basketball within Sozobal pointed out that there is some real progress in the performance of the teams and the future of wheelchair basketball in Malawi is very bright and promising.
“We have had a very interesting match day. The players are demonstrating some real advancement in skills, fair play and teamwork. At least now, we can sit down and comfortably dream for potential international participation come next year, Said Nyasa who further extended a word of thanks to UGI.
He further added that with the promising capacity that has been demonstrated, the increasing number of new recruits and UGI’s promise to always be there for them, he believes the future of wheelchair basketball in Malawi has rightly been secured.
UGI Wheelchair Basketball Tournament runs from now to end November. Winners will go with K200, 000, runners with K100, 000 and third place with K50, 000.
Below is how they [teams] stand on the table.
Pos = Position, P = Games played, BD = Basket Difference, Pts = Points