The sports fraternity in Malawi on Sunday hailed the swearing in of Joyce Banda as the new State President saying she has passion for sports.
Banda has replaced Bingu wa Mutharika who died on Thursday.
Netball Association of Malawi (NAM) general secretary Hellene Mpinganjira said Banda has always displayed passion for sports.
â€œShe has played a big role in developing sports, and netball in particular, by providing scholarships to athletes through her Joyce Banda Foundation.
â€œAs an association associated with the ladies game, we are proud that we now have a female President who loves interacting with fellow women and we are hopeful that she will hold our hand,â€ said Mpinganjira.
FAM president Walter Nyamilandu and Malawi Olympic Committee (MOC) treasurer Jappie Mhango also congratulated the new President.
Said Nyamilandu: â€œThe football fraternity is pleased to see her assume the high office knowing that we have one of our own at the helm.
â€œWe are also happy for the family as well bearing in mind that her husband [retired Chief Justice Richard Banda] is a former Malawi national football player and former president of the Football Association of Malawi. Being an avid follower of football, we have every reason to believe that Malawi football will benefit immensely during her term of office.â€
Nyamilandu noted that for the past years, the President has been supporting youth football development by ensuring that Joyce Banda Foundation participated in youth football competitions.
â€œThis is a clear sign that she has the passion and vision for football. It is this foresight that makes us believe that we are bound to see a sports policy that will be favourable to the development of football and sports in general.
â€œFaced with the many challenges the country is going through, the Football Association of Malawi will fully support any endeavours that will be made to uplift football in this country. We, therefore, look forward to enjoying a continued cordial relationship with the Malawi Government during her tenure. May the Almighty God bless her abundantly,â€ Nyamilandu said.
Mhango said the new Presidentâ€™s passion for sport cannot be overemphasised.
â€œHer school participates in several national competitions such as football, basketball and netball. In addition to that, she also offers scholarships to athletes,â€ he said.