Venue expenses will soon become history for the country’s hockey teams following the news that the hockey stadium at the Upper Stadium in Blantyre will be ready for matches and training in April this year.
Hockey Association of Malawi (HAM) general secretary Wanthaza Mughogho made the revelation on Saturdaywhen the local hockey fraternity, led by HAM president Tochi Gill, visited the site to weed the newly developed natural grass pitch and plant over 70 trees around the pitch.
HAM and hockey clubs have for long been struggling to develop the sport in the country due to scarcity of standard pitches and the exorbitant fees charged at rented venues when they wanted to hold matches or train.
“We will have the feel of the pitch in April with the new season of the FMB Hockey League. We are happy that finally we will be conducting our activities on our own place,” said Mughogho.
He, however, pleaded with well-wishers to help them with at least K3 million ($7 500) for the construction of toilets, changing rooms and a tuck shop at the stadium.
“These essential facilities need to be ready by April as well. Therefore, we are requesting companies and other well-wishers to help us,” he said.
Mughogho said so far, the construction of the pitch and a brick perimeter fence around the new stadium has cost them close to K15 million, inclusive of a K6 million funding they got from Sports Council.
The entire project, which includes construction of stands, was estimated at K100 million (about $250 000) in the 2009, but the cost is likely to rise due to the high cost of construction materials.