The Malawi Government has been urged to formulate a sports industry policy and develop the sports market.
China State General Administration of Sport director Song Zhaorong said this on Friday at a youth and sports development seminar in Beijing, China.
Song said management of sports in Malawi is similar to that of China where government sets up a department exclusively for sports and exercises a macro-management style in sports and works out the general guidelines and policy.
“In this style, we have three sources of funding. The allotment of the government, sports ads and sponsorship, and also sports industry such as [sports product fee, service fee of the stadium and gymnasium].
“Government should be able to develop a sports market to benefit from TV rights and also companies that operate in the country. There is need for high commercialisation, starting with government,” said Song in his lecture on development and status of sports in China.
He said if government takes centre stage in sports market, it will be easier for companies to follow suit and assist.
“We believe the development of sports goes together with the development of the economy. We have specific government laws targeting sports. As such, everyone follows and it makes it easier for companies and other organisations to come in and assist. They cannot say no because it is a law. I advise that for sports to grow in your country, there must be laws made on sports market,” said Song.
Song, who has been in the sports industry for 50 years, also lectured on the importance of a country to formulate a national fitness programme.
Principal health officer in the Ministry of Youth and Sports Joe Kaoche described the lecture as enriching.
“The course is enriching because we are learning from a country which has been excelling in sports. We differ because they have utilised the corporate world better than us,” he said.