China has urged Malawi to learn from the challenges the Asian country is facing since the construction of the Beijing National Stadium.
According to Professor Huo Jianxin from University of Physical Education and Sports in Beijing, the 90 000 capacity Beijing National Stadium, which hosted the 2008 Olympic Games, has become a burden to the Chinese government due to high maintenance costs.
Jianxin, who was part of the 2008 local organising committee, said this in a lecture titled ‘Organising Sports Events’ he delivered to a Malawian delegation attending a seminar on Youth Development and Sports Management in China.
“The stadium cost $480 million to construct and in the first year made over $300 million through tourism. But, gradually, less tourists visit the place because attention has shifted to other Olympic venues.
“This has resulted in government spending millions to maintain the stadium. It is now a burden and this is a lesson to you when it comes to planning for events,” he said.
“We have many lessons from the 2008 Games and the message to all our provinces who are constructing sports venues is to plan well beyond one major event. We hope when you go back to your country, you can apply this knowledge,” he added.
Salima district sports officer, Nellie Seyani, who is attending the seminar, said she is eager to implement what she has learnt during the trip when she returns home.