Following the ban on sports as a measure to contain the spread of Covid-19 pandemic, sports associations say they have requested Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS) to release their subvention for other operations.
MNCS gives associations annual grants for competitions which have been suspended due to the pandemic.
MNCS sports development manager Ruth Mzengo confirmed that associations have requested that their subventions be used to cushion the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, she said Sports Council is looking at each association’s proposals.
“What we have done is to hold meetings with each association to find out what they want. But we are interested in proposals that will leave a legacy such as training of coaches and officials,” said Mzengo.
Asked whether Sports Council would provide relief funding as some associations have proposed she said: “We need to support programmes that will help the development of sports.”
In an interview on Thursday, Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) general secretary Carol Bapu said they made proposals for Sports Council to consider funding them instead of competitions.
She said: “We asked the council to consider allowing us to conclude the 2020 presidential cup which was halted while entering the national final phase. We are well aware of the government ban on all association sports, but once action returns, it will be good to finish the cup competition. This is a very important cup in netball because being a national cup, it allows us to scout for talent some of whom goes into the Under-21 national team.
“With the pandemic, the national teams at all levels are idle and we feel Sports Council can use this time to procure equipment for the Queens at all levels. Most of the equipment, including match balls are not in good condition. We think such a move would be very helpful to NAM and national teams.”
Bapu commended Sports Council for calling a meeting to discuss their plans.
“We are pleased to learn that the council is rehabilitating infrastructure. They have done a good job at Blantyre Youth Centre. This is one of the items we presented in our proposal that netball needs more grounds that are up to standard. We hope to discuss extension of the same to other areas [regions] to grow the game,” she said.
Bapu also proposed online training programmes for coaches, umpires and administrators.
Chess Association of Malawi (Chessam) president Susan Namangale applauded Sports Council for supporting their events during this period.
“Chess remains active even in this period as we have been holding online tournaments, including our recent participation in the World Olympiad. To move forward, we would be happy if the equipment support and athlete support continue,” she said.
Namangale also said there is need to support athletes with relief packages such as sanitisers, soap, and face masks because some have lost jobs or they are not getting full salaries.
“It’s our plea even to other companies and individuals to help our athletes and clubs,” she said.
But Football Association of Malawi (FAM), which received special relief fund from world football governing body, Fifa, has said they do not need any help until the resumption of football.
“The FAM budget submission to council covers national team activities which at the moment are suspended.
It’s our expectation that once national teams get back to action MNCS will support us as is normally the case,” said, FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda..