At least 30 Malawian female athletes and administrators last weekend underwent a mentorship in sports leadership at the Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) in Blantyre.
One of the two-day training facilitators Ivy Kondowe-Chinangwa said the event was part of the 10-year Women Leadership Programme Africa Union Sports Council (AUSC) Region Five introduced in 2018 in partnership with Association for International Sports for All (Tafisa) to fight against marginalising women from sports leadership and decision-making positions.
“This programme is one of the responses to the gaps exposed in the findings of the 2013 baseline survey conducted with support from the Norwegian Confederation of Sports and Paralympics Committee, in which it was found out that a negligible number of women occupied leadership and decision-making positions in sports organisations in the region,” she said.
Sydney Scoreboard Global Index for Women in Sports Leadership also endorsed the survey in 2015, which showed that women only chaired seven percent of international sports federations and occupied 19 percent of chief executive positions.
“Therefore, this mentorship aims to build confidence in the women and encourage them to go for big positions in sports,” said Kondowe-Chinangwa.
Some skills the women acquired from the training are strategic planning and sports management.
National women’s football team technical adviser Maggie Chombo-Sadiki and national netball team captain Joanna Kachilika, who were among the participants, described the training as an eye-opener.
“This training has given us power not to look down upon ourselves and play second fiddle to our male counterparts. This is also the time that the society should stop undermining us,” she said.
Another facilitator, Lisungu Moyo-Banda said the programme targets women aged between 18 and 35 and they expect to nurture at least 200 women in the country by 2028.
She said it will run annually in the region’s 10 countries of Malawi, South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, Angola, Eswatini, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Lesotho.
Other facilitators were Chancy Malamula, Janet Kasambala, Zindaba Lungu and Wilson Mkandawire.