The Malawi National Council of Sports (MNSC) has cautioned sports associations against rushing to participate in international competitions before they have adequate facilities to enable them to prepare well for such events.
The advice was made by the councilâ€™s executive secretary George Jana when he presented new bicycles to the Cycling Federation of Malawi (CFM) at the councilâ€™s offices on Friday.
Jana advised associations to follow CFMâ€™s example of giving up participation at various international events and using their annual subvention to procure necessary equipment for training their athletes.
CFM sacrificed this yearâ€™s participation in London Olympic Qualifiers in Eritrea and camp training for African Championships in South Africa to use K1.5 million (about $6 00) of their K2 million (about $8 000) annual allocation from the council to buy 16 new bicycles, a trainer, 10 helmets and 10 spare tyres.
â€œWe have noted with great concern that most associations put emphasis on using their subventions to participate at international contests instead of first using their grants to procure standard equipment that can help them prepare and ably compete at such levels,â€ said Jana.
While thanking government through the council for helping CFM to procure the new bicycles, Malawi Olympic Committee (MOC) president Oscar Kanjala echoed Janaâ€™s sentiments, saying they are necessary for Malawiâ€™s international medal hunt.
â€œWe labour to identify athletes for international events such as the London Olympics not because we do not have the best athletes, but due to lack of capacity for good preparations,â€ said Kanjala.
On his part, CFM president Andrew Mkwezalamba said they would use their new equipment to prepare well for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.