By Twimepoki Mangani:
Central Zone Basketball League (CEZOBAL) has devised an initiative where they will be carrying teams to play at the home courts of those teams outside Lilongwe.
CEZOBAL will start this initiative with Dream team from Dzaleka refugee camp in Dowa.
In an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana), General Secretary for CEZOBAL, Jim Chakholoma said it has been in their plans to bring league games to Dzaleka considering the long distance team s travel to get to Lilongwe.
He said: “we want to bring the game to their environment to ease their transportation cost and appreciate their efforts of coming to town.”
Chakholoma highlighted that the exercise was a pilot programme to be monitored if it was sustainable and is expected to be extended to other teams based out of town.
“There are alot of things to consider for the games to be played away from Lilongwe such as the referees, the table officials and the Lilongwe based teams that need to travel, but surely Dream team will have a number of home games , not precisely all of them.”
“We just started the seaon so we are actively discussing these plans with teams that have finalised thier registration and we look forward to having games in kasungu (Kasungu Sparks) and Salima (Parachuters),” he said.
In a separate interview founder and head Coach of Dream team, Benard Tshibwabwa hailed CEZOBAL for the initiative as it has the potential to develop the sport in other districts and travellling teams have an opportunity to donate to refugees in Dzaleka.
“After speaking to the chairman of the league we discussed to have two or three games per month. So far Dream team has played Central Knights and Hoops while the reserve team has played Ubunthu Raptors and the home support was great,” he said.
Meanwhile Vince Captain for Kasungu Sparks, Jimmy Chifita said they are yet to receive confirmation from CEZOBAL on games to be played in Kasungu following discussions to consider them for transportation matters they face.
Dream team comprises of 70 percent refugees with 30 percent Malawians making the team and they have a standard court which was built after they had sent a proposal to the NBA through Corps Africa, JRs and OCP.
CEZOBAL intends to have completed home and away fixtures in the future for all teams in the men’s super league, women’s league and mens league B (West and East).