After bankrolling last year’s Mr. Malawi Bodybuilding Championships, ETC Agro Tractors and Implements have doubled sponsorship from K4 million to K8 million (about $20 000) for this year’s event scheduled to start at regional level in May.
The company’s marketing manager Zubeir Sharikmaslat told The Nation on Monday that their passion for the sport has grown due to the discipline they observed among local athletes.
“Apart from that, bodybuilding athletes are symbols of the strength of our machinery. We are currently discussing with Weightlifting and Bodybuilding Association of Malawi (Wbam) to see how we can make the 2014 event a great success,” he said.
Sharikmaslat mentioned last year’s runner-up Yasin Ichocho Suwedi as a good example of bodybuilders that have used the sport as a symbol of strength, peace and discipline.
He said it is for this reason that they have also doubled the winner’s purse to K400 000 (about $1 000).
“The behaviour of athletes such as Ichocho has helped the sport to maintain a good reputation. They do not lift weights to threaten people but to maintain a good body shape,” he said.
Wbam president Richard Kuwali expressed happiness at the news, saying it will help bodybuilding gain popularity among sports lovers.
Wbam had an extraordinary meeting at Sunbird Mount Soche last Saturday when they agreed to start the Mr. Malawi contest at regional level before the national finals in October.