There is a lot at stake in this year’s Chingo’mbe National Cross Country after Dairibord Malawi Limited hiked the competition’s sponsorship from K1.5 million (about $4 411) to K2.3 million (about $6 764) during a relaunch ceremony held Saturday morning at the Sports Council boardroom.
Actual prize money package has also jumped from K300 000 (about $882) to K640 000 (about $1 882) for the categories of eight kilometres for senior women, eight kilometres junior men, 12 kilometres senior men, six kilometres junior men and six kilometres junior women.
This year’s race, to be held at Kamuzu Institute for Sports in Lilongwe on February 9 2013, will also include a four-kilometre non-competitive runners section.
Speaking during the relaunch, Dairibord managing director Theodora Nyamandi said their brand of Ching’ombe milk augurs well with athletics, noting that the five-year race has produced gems of runners such as Kephas Kesten and Grevazio Mpani.
“Athletes need good nutrition to perform their best and milk is one natural food known to provide complete nutrition to humans from birth…by sponsoring national cross country, Dairibord Ching’ombe is making a statement that it is a national brand,” she said before Athletics Association of Malawi (AAM) president Godfrey Phiri also spoke.
Phiri, who was accompanied by general secretary Frank Chitembeya, vice-GS Ireen Luka, coach Francis Munthali, said AAM was grateful to Dairibord for increasing the sponsorship during the hard economic times, saying: “We do not take this for granted. We, therefore, ask other companies to emulate Dairibord.”
Image: Phiri (in suit) receiving the cheque from Nyamandi (far right)