The annual Malawi Defence Force (MDF) sports festivals started on Tuesday at the Malawi Armed Forces College (Mafco) in Salima, with emphasis on reaching Olympic qualification.
MDF Commander Henry Odillo, who was accompanied by director of personnel Major General Msothi, was the guest of honour.
Odillo urged participating teams and individuals to break national records to increase the level of competition.
“Let me urge all participants that this yearâ€™s sports festival should be focused on competing to reach the Olympic Games qualification standards. I would, therefore, want to see soldiers in various sports disciplines achieve that,” said Odillo.
Director of training Brigadier General Macbeth Mkandawire said the annual games are part of military training and urged the soldiers to give their best.
“We encourage these games as MDF because the event demands physical fitness. At the same time, the games provide enjoyment and help tackle diseases such as obesity, diabetes and heart diseases,” said Mkandawire.
Mkandawire also announced the introduction of hockey in the festivals for the first time.
The four-day event will cost over K8 million (about $32 000), according to Mkandawire.
Odillo expressed gratitude to Nico Life Insurance Company, SF International, Toyota Malawi, Prime Insurance Company and Blue Cheap for contributing towards the games.
The games include football, netball, hockey, volleyball, basketball, boxing, tug of war, weightlifting, judo, bodybuilding, darts and athletics.