Ministry of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development has approved a proposal for Bingu National Stadium (BNS) to accommodate a youth centre where the youth would be participating in various sports activities.
The move, according to BNS operations manager Eric Ning’ang’a, would help nurture talent among the youths in Lilongwe where there are a few public sports facilities.
He said: “Our aim is to help young people in various sports disciplines to improve their performances in whatever area they have an interest. It could be athletics, football and tennis, among others.”
Ning’ang’a said they are currently working on how to operationalise the youth centre.
“We will work with various associations on how best we can implement it,” he said.
Ning’ang’a said a football academy, which has been in pipeline, will also be part of the youth centre.
BNS has indoor athletes tracks, makeshift volleyball court, long jump port and a synthetic running track.
Athletics Association of Malawi (AAM) general secretary Frank Chitembeya welcomed the youth centre approval.
He said it will cut the expenses incurred through hiring of venues for athletes.
“What it means is that we will be using the stadium to train our young athletes for free,” he said.
Chitembeya said the young athletes will also be exposed to modern facilities which would ensure they do not face challenges when they compete abroad.
“The synthetic and indoor tracks will be new to most of the young athletes we will be training. But getting used to similar facilities will mean they will not find it strange to race on such facilities when they are contesting in international tournaments,” he said.
Boxing Association of Malawi president Justice Katika also welcomed the development, expressing hope that boxing will be part of the youth centre.
“Boxing has proved time and again that it is one of the most successful sports codes. We will push to have a stake in the youth centre,” he said.